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FOLK: Image & Presentation

GUEST,Alan Surtees 29 May 08 - 08:30 AM
Richard Bridge 29 May 08 - 09:12 AM
TheSnail 29 May 08 - 09:18 AM
Acorn4 29 May 08 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 29 May 08 - 09:32 AM
Waddon Pete 29 May 08 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster 29 May 08 - 10:59 AM
Peace 29 May 08 - 11:06 AM
PoppaGator 29 May 08 - 11:33 AM
Big Al Whittle 29 May 08 - 11:46 AM
TheSnail 29 May 08 - 12:14 PM
Richard Bridge 29 May 08 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster 29 May 08 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,ESAM 29 May 08 - 12:58 PM
Peace 29 May 08 - 01:01 PM
TheSnail 29 May 08 - 01:04 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 May 08 - 01:21 PM
GUEST 29 May 08 - 01:29 PM
Ernest 29 May 08 - 01:30 PM
Don Firth 29 May 08 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster 29 May 08 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,ESAM 29 May 08 - 01:38 PM
TheSnail 29 May 08 - 01:52 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 29 May 08 - 02:03 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 May 08 - 02:08 PM
Acorn4 29 May 08 - 02:39 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 29 May 08 - 02:46 PM
Def Shepard 29 May 08 - 02:49 PM
Acorn4 29 May 08 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,ESAM 29 May 08 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 29 May 08 - 03:13 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 29 May 08 - 03:23 PM
Def Shepard 29 May 08 - 03:37 PM
glueman 29 May 08 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 29 May 08 - 04:21 PM
Peace 29 May 08 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,ESAM 29 May 08 - 04:36 PM
glueman 29 May 08 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,Ewan etc 29 May 08 - 05:21 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 29 May 08 - 05:24 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 29 May 08 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,Ewan Spawned A Monster 29 May 08 - 05:56 PM
Folkiedave 29 May 08 - 06:34 PM
GUEST 29 May 08 - 06:55 PM
meself 29 May 08 - 06:56 PM
Tangledwood 29 May 08 - 07:01 PM
GUEST,ESAM 29 May 08 - 07:02 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 29 May 08 - 07:10 PM
meself 29 May 08 - 07:15 PM
melodeonboy 29 May 08 - 07:38 PM
melodeonboy 29 May 08 - 07:42 PM
TheSnail 29 May 08 - 08:21 PM
GUEST,ESAM 29 May 08 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster 29 May 08 - 08:36 PM
glueman 30 May 08 - 02:02 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 May 08 - 03:37 AM
Folkiedave 30 May 08 - 03:41 AM
Jim Carroll 30 May 08 - 03:46 AM
glueman 30 May 08 - 04:55 AM
TheSnail 30 May 08 - 05:58 AM
Mr Happy 30 May 08 - 06:23 AM
TheSnail 30 May 08 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,ESAM 30 May 08 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,ESAM 30 May 08 - 06:31 AM
glueman 30 May 08 - 06:33 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 May 08 - 07:33 AM
Doktor Doktor 30 May 08 - 08:01 AM
glueman 30 May 08 - 08:06 AM
GUEST 30 May 08 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,ESAM 30 May 08 - 08:43 AM
The Sandman 30 May 08 - 06:09 PM
Stringsinger 30 May 08 - 06:30 PM
Teribus 31 May 08 - 08:51 AM
Don Firth 31 May 08 - 05:03 PM
Folkiedave 31 May 08 - 05:21 PM
Don Firth 31 May 08 - 07:11 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Jun 08 - 06:17 AM
Phil Edwards 01 Jun 08 - 07:53 AM
Snuffy 01 Jun 08 - 11:53 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 01 Jun 08 - 12:12 PM
Don Firth 01 Jun 08 - 01:08 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 01 Jun 08 - 01:41 PM
dick greenhaus 01 Jun 08 - 02:20 PM
TheSnail 01 Jun 08 - 02:53 PM
Jack Blandiver 01 Jun 08 - 04:19 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Jun 08 - 04:24 PM
TheSnail 01 Jun 08 - 04:26 PM
Jack Blandiver 01 Jun 08 - 04:35 PM
Jack Blandiver 01 Jun 08 - 04:37 PM
TheSnail 01 Jun 08 - 04:50 PM
Don Firth 01 Jun 08 - 05:19 PM
Don Firth 01 Jun 08 - 05:36 PM
TheSnail 01 Jun 08 - 05:43 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Jun 08 - 06:01 PM
dick greenhaus 01 Jun 08 - 06:03 PM
Jack Blandiver 01 Jun 08 - 06:30 PM
TheSnail 01 Jun 08 - 06:41 PM
peteglasgow 01 Jun 08 - 06:48 PM
Melissa 01 Jun 08 - 07:38 PM
Don Firth 01 Jun 08 - 07:47 PM
Don Firth 01 Jun 08 - 07:51 PM
melodeonboy 01 Jun 08 - 09:04 PM
Don Firth 01 Jun 08 - 09:35 PM
Tangledwood 02 Jun 08 - 12:27 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Jun 08 - 01:50 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Jun 08 - 02:53 AM
Phil Edwards 02 Jun 08 - 03:39 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Jun 08 - 04:53 AM
TheSnail 02 Jun 08 - 05:06 AM
Jack Blandiver 02 Jun 08 - 05:08 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 02 Jun 08 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,Couldof 02 Jun 08 - 05:38 AM
Jack Blandiver 02 Jun 08 - 06:08 AM
TheSnail 02 Jun 08 - 06:14 AM
Jack Blandiver 02 Jun 08 - 06:36 AM
TheSnail 02 Jun 08 - 07:12 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 02 Jun 08 - 07:41 AM
TheSnail 02 Jun 08 - 08:27 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Jun 08 - 08:31 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 02 Jun 08 - 08:55 AM
Jack Blandiver 02 Jun 08 - 09:37 AM
Don Firth 02 Jun 08 - 01:13 PM
Acorn4 02 Jun 08 - 01:36 PM
glueman 02 Jun 08 - 01:49 PM
TheSnail 02 Jun 08 - 02:04 PM
Don Firth 02 Jun 08 - 04:18 PM
The Sandman 02 Jun 08 - 04:59 PM
TheSnail 02 Jun 08 - 08:09 PM
Don Firth 02 Jun 08 - 10:14 PM
Jack Blandiver 03 Jun 08 - 05:32 AM
glueman 03 Jun 08 - 05:56 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 03 Jun 08 - 06:15 AM
Jack Blandiver 03 Jun 08 - 06:35 AM
glueman 03 Jun 08 - 06:51 AM
Phil Edwards 03 Jun 08 - 06:57 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Jun 08 - 07:00 AM
Jack Blandiver 03 Jun 08 - 07:06 AM
Jack Blandiver 03 Jun 08 - 08:11 AM
melodeonboy 03 Jun 08 - 08:19 AM
Jack Blandiver 03 Jun 08 - 08:29 AM
melodeonboy 03 Jun 08 - 08:59 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 03 Jun 08 - 09:11 AM
Jack Blandiver 03 Jun 08 - 09:58 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 03 Jun 08 - 10:12 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Jun 08 - 10:29 AM
Jack Blandiver 03 Jun 08 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,ESAM 03 Jun 08 - 11:23 AM
Don Firth 03 Jun 08 - 12:27 PM
Peace 03 Jun 08 - 12:31 PM
Don Firth 03 Jun 08 - 01:20 PM
VirginiaTam 03 Jun 08 - 02:40 PM
TheSnail 03 Jun 08 - 02:45 PM
Jack Blandiver 03 Jun 08 - 03:09 PM
Ruth Archer 03 Jun 08 - 03:16 PM
GUEST 03 Jun 08 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer 03 Jun 08 - 03:34 PM
Jack Blandiver 03 Jun 08 - 04:47 PM
GUEST 03 Jun 08 - 05:55 PM
Don Firth 03 Jun 08 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer 03 Jun 08 - 06:25 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 04 Jun 08 - 05:27 AM
GUEST,Sedayne (Astray) 04 Jun 08 - 05:34 AM
glueman 04 Jun 08 - 05:50 AM
glueman 04 Jun 08 - 05:55 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 04 Jun 08 - 06:02 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 04 Jun 08 - 06:07 AM
TheSnail 04 Jun 08 - 06:23 AM
GUEST,Dave Bishop 04 Jun 08 - 06:41 AM
Jack Blandiver 04 Jun 08 - 12:37 PM
Don Firth 04 Jun 08 - 03:08 PM
VirginiaTam 04 Jun 08 - 03:40 PM
TheSnail 04 Jun 08 - 04:15 PM
Def Shepard 04 Jun 08 - 04:26 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 04 Jun 08 - 05:49 PM
Don Firth 04 Jun 08 - 06:46 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 05 Jun 08 - 04:48 AM
Jack Blandiver 05 Jun 08 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer 05 Jun 08 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer 05 Jun 08 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,Phil at work 05 Jun 08 - 09:01 AM
Jack Blandiver 05 Jun 08 - 09:23 AM
Jack Blandiver 05 Jun 08 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer 05 Jun 08 - 09:52 AM
GUEST 05 Jun 08 - 09:56 AM
Jack Blandiver 05 Jun 08 - 10:16 AM
VirginiaTam 05 Jun 08 - 01:42 PM
Ruth Archer 05 Jun 08 - 02:10 PM
Phil Edwards 05 Jun 08 - 02:23 PM
VirginiaTam 05 Jun 08 - 02:44 PM
Ruth Archer 05 Jun 08 - 02:53 PM
Don Firth 05 Jun 08 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,Nigel Spencer 05 Jun 08 - 03:03 PM
glueman 05 Jun 08 - 04:11 PM
Jack Blandiver 05 Jun 08 - 07:25 PM
glueman 06 Jun 08 - 04:32 AM
Two of a Hind 06 Jun 08 - 05:11 AM
Jack Blandiver 06 Jun 08 - 05:14 AM
Jack Blandiver 06 Jun 08 - 05:51 AM
Jack Blandiver 06 Jun 08 - 07:26 AM
Richard Bridge 06 Jun 08 - 07:38 AM
glueman 06 Jun 08 - 08:06 AM
Jack Blandiver 06 Jun 08 - 08:11 AM
glueman 06 Jun 08 - 08:17 AM
Jack Blandiver 06 Jun 08 - 08:18 AM
Jack Blandiver 06 Jun 08 - 08:33 AM
glueman 06 Jun 08 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 08 Jun 08 - 03:03 PM
trevek 08 Jun 08 - 03:22 PM
trevek 08 Jun 08 - 03:30 PM
trevek 08 Jun 08 - 03:37 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Jun 08 - 03:48 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 09 Jun 08 - 04:06 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 09 Jun 08 - 04:35 AM
GUEST,Alan Surtees 09 Jun 08 - 04:55 AM
GUEST,Sedayne (In Norfolk) 09 Jun 08 - 05:11 AM
glueman 09 Jun 08 - 05:15 AM
GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC 09 Jun 08 - 05:51 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 09 Jun 08 - 06:14 AM
glueman 09 Jun 08 - 06:30 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 09 Jun 08 - 06:30 AM
Phil Edwards 09 Jun 08 - 06:44 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 09 Jun 08 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 09 Jun 08 - 07:33 AM
Phil Edwards 09 Jun 08 - 07:38 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 09 Jun 08 - 07:58 AM
Don Firth 09 Jun 08 - 03:15 PM
Def Shepard 09 Jun 08 - 03:42 PM
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Subject: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Alan Surtees
Date: 29 May 08 - 08:30 AM

FOLK - IMAGE & PRESENTATION

I'm not intentionally trying to be contentious but I'm sure Mudcatters will have a view on these issues and I would like to hear them. There will be those who think folk is fine where it is, as a small but interesting musical genre, and there are those who would think folk deserves a bigger audience, more respect, and more serious coverage by the media. And there are a few who would like to drag folk back to an era that never really existed.

Music in all it's forms has developed over many centuries; in fact all music must have been folk music until ways were found to present music to large audiences. Songs and music around the world would have been played by individuals to entertain themselves and others in very small groups. The church recognised the power of music and song and used it alongside their awe inspiring buildings to influence and control their congregations. Then we found ways to record sound and all of the boundaries were gone, we could listen to music from almost anywhere in the world. Eventually we could go out and record the people who were still playing music and songs which had been passed down, from one performer to another over decades and, perhaps, centuries - Folk Music.

That folk music was, originally, of its day, not traditional, but pertinent to that moment in time, in the same way that pop music has relevance today. It was the only form of musical entertainment available to anyone. There was no competition and each country had its own musical style and its own instruments. Travel, conquest and trade routes would have introduced new styles and instruments across the continents and then across the world.

Now music is dominated by businesses who wish to sell music into mass markets. Folk music isn't given much exposure by the media and when it is they very often make fun of it. Editors send their photographers to festivals with clear instruction to find the fattest bloke with the biggest beard possible or some daft bugger dressed in red.

Youth culture doesn't look backwards for its inspiration but believes it is living with the very latest that music can offer; and apart from a short period in the sixties, when music seemed to be driven by genuine musicians, young people buy into the crap sold to them buy businessmen.

So; are we happy with a lack of respect, and lack of exposure and the possibility of a receding audience for the music and the songs that we love? Or should we be thinking about the promotion, presentation and the image that folk music has, and the image we want it to have. Folk music has the best musicians, the best singers, and the best songwriters. It has diversity, a sense of history and loads of humour. It is accessible and encourages everyone to take an active part in performance. Folk is unique in the festival world, attracting and catering for the whole family. We have a lot to offer, including a good standard of behavior. We don't want to compromise or spoil what we have all enjoyed for a long time, but surely we want to share this great movement; even, this way of life.

If we do want to share our music and increase the number of people attending folk events, we need to dispel the quite unreasonable and ridiculous image that folk has been given by the media. There has never been more competition in the world of music. We can ignore that; folk music will never die, but if it is so good why not let everybody know. Folk artists have become very professional and care about their image, they deserve the very best presentation we can give them as promoters. In fact, we could all; artists, organisers and audiences give more support to change. And although change can be risky, there are enough thoughtful participants to ensure that any change is properly considered.

There will, of course, be a curmudgeonly bunch who will want to retain the cliquish "Our Little Club" attitude, but surely folk music is bigger and more welcoming than that.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 May 08 - 09:12 AM

What are you suggesting? THe Pussycat Dolls sing the Child Ballads?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 May 08 - 09:18 AM

There will, of course, be a curmudgeonly bunch who will want to retain the cliquish "Our Little Club" attitude

Nice to see you encouraging a free and open discussion.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Acorn4
Date: 29 May 08 - 09:26 AM

Last year we went to a free folk festival on a Sunday afternoon which seemed to have attracted every chav within a fifty mile radius. They just seemed intent on getting pissed and weren't particularly interested in the performers on stage.

I think we need to beware of the baseball cap count getting too high which might happen if things were over-promoted. My late dad always said that a good product doesn't need any advertising - the best of the performers on the folk scene won't become millionaires but can get into a comfort zone where they don't have to worry about starving.

Festivals are, for us, an escape from all the hype and don't want to be a part of it.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 29 May 08 - 09:32 AM

I have just resolved never to read another thread with the word "Folk" in the title.

IMO, if a person takes 8 paragraphs to frame the question, an answer is not really being sought. Rather, a platform for defining the pseudo-questioner's ideas, and in the process closing out a few options, as the Snail already observed.

I could just have said, "TLDR" and left it at that. Why didn't I?

CC


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 29 May 08 - 09:32 AM

Hmmmm....Some very thoughtful points Alan.

IMHO Folk music has always been "under the radar", happily subversive and providing an alternative musical experience. Sometimes it does attract the attention of the rest of society, e.g. when a particular song or group has a success, but most of the time we subvert people's musical tastes gradually!

Yes...there are always those who will ridicule, but this is true of many different activities...not just folk music.

Many of us go out and share our music with the general populace...and the majority of them are appreciative! (More converts!)

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster
Date: 29 May 08 - 10:59 AM

"Youth culture doesn't look backwards for its inspiration but believes it is living with the very latest that music can offer; and apart from a short period in the sixties, when music seemed to be driven by genuine musicians, young people buy into the crap sold to them buy businessmen."

Sweeping, pointless and wildly inaccurate generalisations, Alan. Just like the ones the media make about folk music.

"We have a lot to offer, including a good standard of behavior..."

Is this part of the problem or part of the solution?

"There will, of course, be a curmudgeonly bunch who will want to retain the cliquish "Our Little Club" attitude, but surely folk music is bigger and more welcoming than that."

Given that the "curmudgeonly bunch" are all over (the UK arm of) Mudcat like a cheap suit, this is the bit they will home in on, not the interesting points you make. Anyone who dares to criticise the status quo will be issued a folk fatwah and have their eyes put out for trying to destroy the folk scene as they want it to remain. Thankfully the music is more enduring than a superannuated 60s youth movement is likely to be...

I actually agree with some of the points you are making. To me folk has two arms, and they have nothing to do with traditional versus contemporary, for instance. On the one hand we have the hobbyists - those who favour the singaround and session and those who inhabit the strange and murky world of the folk club. The model railway enthusiasts as Sedayne would call them. On the other we have those who would "professionalise" folk music in order to have it compete in the marketplace as one genre amongst many, to sink or swim depending on a mixture of merit and quality of the PR and so forth. As Tom Bliss has pointed out, the two arms have a symbiotic if at times fraught relationship. And I believe both arms are as old as the hills - singing/playing for pleasure and singing/playing for recompense.

My problem with the professionalisation of folk music, and particularly traditional music, is that so much of it is so fecking bland. It's as is a whole swathe of talented musicians and singers have ambitions no greater than making music that would sound alright on Radio 2: safe, anodyne, easy listening pap. No rough edges or experimentation or vision or challenges: just twee, lowest-common-denomintor aural wallpaper.

Give me the Owl Service or Alasdair Roberts or Pumajaw any day.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Peace
Date: 29 May 08 - 11:06 AM

I don't understand the question. More meat, less matter.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 May 08 - 11:33 AM

We disagree about a lot of things here at Mudcat. Some of us, for example, feel that only unaccompanied vocal music is pristine enough to be considered "folk," while at the other extreme, some of us accept garage-band punk-rock as a contemporary folk-music form because it is a personal musical expression of a contemporary societal group.

On the other hand, there are a few basic principles that pretty much all of us can agree upon ~ one one of them is that ANY music conceived and performed for the expressed purpose of appealing to a particular audience is very likely NOT the kind of music we're interested in. We like music whose creators play and sing for their own enjoyment and that of like-minded members of their own community ~ mass-media reaction be damned!

I'd advise you to worry much less about the "image" of folk fans and folk culture that you see promulgated in the media. Who cares? If "they" fail to understand, too bad for them!

The music has its own irresistable appeal, something that a few folks will recognize and love right away, that others will gradually find more and more appealing, and that still others will never understand.

Just worry about yourself, keep the beard and the belly nicely trimmed if you're sensistive to ridicule, and sit back and enjoy.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 May 08 - 11:46 AM

You wouldn't like this dish of meat, Bruce.

Basically they have embraced a set protocols about performing that makes them sound weird to the rest of the population. They're absolutely convinced they're right - all that stuff about we have the best of everything - ho hum!

Having set their face against modern culture (its all crap sold to undiscerning idiots) - they are now wondering why they don't have the effusive gratitude of the everybody for their percipience and powers of analysis.

They dug the bloody hole, the only grim satisfaction is that they'll eventually bury it along with all the other cults of wrongheadhedness like the flat earthers.

let no one lament their passing, they have rejected the common tongue of their own nation.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 May 08 - 12:14 PM

GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster

To me folk has two arms...
On the one hand we have the hobbyists...
On the other we have those who would "professionalise" folk music...


It is precisely the fact that there is no such separation that. to me, gives folk music it's strength.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 May 08 - 12:31 PM

Wot, WLD, weird, like goths or punks or rockabillies? Or even you (or, in a different way, me)?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster
Date: 29 May 08 - 12:54 PM

Richard, WLD: bring on the wierd (wyrd?) I say. A damned sight more interesting than the bland leading the bland.

WLD, by the way, your posts are linguistically ever more evah so literary. I quote: "Let no one lament their passing, they have rejected the common tongue of their own nation". Now that's almost poetry.

Snail: dontcha know that two arms are better than one? Any more than that of course and you start to look like a Hindu goddess. It's not a "seperation" anyway. If you read my friggin' post rather than trying to fight with shadows, I call it a "symbiotic relationship"... any attempts to seperate the two arms would be downright cruel. Guantanamo Bay stuff, in fact.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,ESAM
Date: 29 May 08 - 12:58 PM

Some things that aren't weird:

Chart Pop
Boy Bands
Girl Bands
Radio Two
X Factor
Catherine Cookson and Maeve Binchy
The architecture of Robert Adams
"Past Times"
Tescos
The Daily Mail
Status Quo
David Cameron

Need I go on?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Peace
Date: 29 May 08 - 01:01 PM

"any attempts to seperate the two arms would be downright cruel. Guantanamo Bay stuff, in fact. "

Addressed by Hemingway, no? "A Farewell to . . .".


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 May 08 - 01:04 PM

GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster

It's not a "seperation" anyway.

You are the one who defined two categories, the hobbyists and the professionals. How do you decide whether someone is, on the one hand, on the hobbyist arm or, on the other hand, on the professional arm?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 May 08 - 01:21 PM

Okay, we're all agreed.

weird is good.

Sod the lot of 'em!

But don't get all - 'why don't the love me? I've done nothing wrong'

Yes you have. I have. We all have. No use pretending that Robbie Williams singing the best of Andrew Lloyd Webber was one of our eight records for a desert island.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST
Date: 29 May 08 - 01:29 PM

Snail:

For instance, I'm not Kate Rusby.

I'm also not Eliza Carthy.

Nor am I Rachel Unthank.

Or Jackie Oates.

They are not better human beings than me. Or worse.

But they are "professional folksingers" and I am not.

Do you see the difference?

Surely you must?

The teenie weenie one of "what their/my job is/isnt"?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Ernest
Date: 29 May 08 - 01:30 PM

Those who can DO

Those who can`t TEACH

The rest of us are discussing it on the mudcat....

;0)
Ernest


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 May 08 - 01:31 PM

Gross oversimplifications. That, all too often, is why these discussions rarely go anywhere.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster
Date: 29 May 08 - 01:36 PM

Yikes, that was me above.

WLD: "But don't get all - 'why don't the love me? I've done nothing wrong'"...

Neither do I, WLD.

If someone plays "hobbyist" music like traditional "traditional" English folk, for example, or folk influenced singersongwriterliness, surely they can't complain if an S-Club 7 fan thinks they're a bit of a wanker? If they DO complain they're in the wrong flamin' job as far as I can see.

Surely you have to do what you do and if "they" love us - great!

If they don't - well, as long as everyone's happy and no-one's getting hurt...


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,ESAM
Date: 29 May 08 - 01:38 PM

Peace - that was hilarious!


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 May 08 - 01:52 PM

GUEST (who can't be bothered to speak his name)

Do you see the difference?

Yes, they are at one end of the continuum and the chap who hums along quietly in the chorus songs is at the other. Inbetween, there are a wide variety of levels of skill and earning power from people who do the occasional floor spot, through those with full time jobs who can still get on the bill at folk festivals and some who supplement their performance income with temp jobs. Where do you see the dividing line?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 29 May 08 - 02:03 PM

"I think we need to beware of the baseball cap count getting too high which might happen if things were over-promoted.

That is certainly a stereotype!! No wonder you have problems in the UK!!

"I'm not Kate Rusby.

I'm also not Eliza Carthy.

Nor am I Rachel Unthank.

Or Jackie Oates.

They are not better human beings than me. Or worse.

But they are "professional folksingers" and I am not.

Do you see the difference?"

Sure, why would someone want to listen to you when there are others who are trying to make a living with their music and deserve support.


You folks seem so concerned about image, presentation, respect and definition that you fail to realize that most important factor is "content". If it is good, genuine and welcoming - people will be attracted to it.   No one wants to be part of a snobbish social club anymore.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 May 08 - 02:08 PM

well yes but we need more unity - us weirdoes should stick together and present a united front instead of squabbling, and more important - stop playing dirty tricks!

Like refusing to review or grant airplay, or places on the festival stages to artists of distinction who have clearly come from the folk club phenomena.

Its petty. its vindictive. malicious, and destructive of the overrall potential of the movement.

The thing that unites us is that we're all a long way from home as far as the popular sensibility lies.

I supose I had already strummed a guitar and been to folk clubs from when I was about 15. By the time I was 17, I'd heard playing live, to name a few - Martin Carthy, Gerry Lockran, Cyril Tawney, Spider John Koerner, Fred Jordan, The Young Tradition, The Watersons, Johnny Handle, Leon Rosselson, Bert Jansch - and a host of other stuff on record.

But the voice that really excited me came over the ether of steam radio - a programme called The Northern Drift on the old Third programme. Alex Glasgow singing My Daddy is a Left wing Intellectual. Here to me was the voice of the educated working class. I didn't have to pretend I was drunken sailor, a pretty ploughby or a member of a Texas chain gang. It was something to aim for - self expression.

Its still my aim and after a lifetime trying, I think its decent instinct worthy of respect. And it gets me so angry to see my work and others equally hard working, rejected - because it doesn't fit into somebody's fantasy of what is folkmusic.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Acorn4
Date: 29 May 08 - 02:39 PM

Re the "baseball cap" - I keep forgetting that this has different connotations in the US to UK - in UK it is part of the uniform of the "chav" (difficult to explain this phenomenon in a few lines)- not general wear by all social groups as it is in the US.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 29 May 08 - 02:46 PM

Doesn't matter - you have stereotyped anyone wearing a baseball cap. Baseball caps are in style around the globe, but because a social group in the south of England seems to favor them, you create an assumption that anyone who attends your festivals are out to make trouble - at least that is what you indicate in your previous remarks. That is what causes problems.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Def Shepard
Date: 29 May 08 - 02:49 PM

Chicken Charlie said, "IMO, if a person takes 8 paragraphs to frame the question, an answer is not really being sought. Rather, a platform for defining the pseudo-questioner's ideas, and in the process closing out a few options, as the Snail already observed.

It read more like a sermon to me, in the vein of "though shalt" and "thou shalt not", with far to many sweeping generalisations. I made it a habit along time ago of only "shalting" what I feel comfortable with, and 1854/1954 or whatever, be damned


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Acorn4
Date: 29 May 08 - 03:03 PM

Apparently there is a sociology professor who put forward the theory that we reduce our intelligence by 30% when we put a baseball cap on our heads -this becomes 60% when the cap is worn backwards

There is now a new fashion for them worn at 45% - meaning the brain is having complete out of body experience!

On the other hand I did see a morris dancer wearing one at Shrewsbury last year!

Please note - this is only a JOKE!


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,ESAM
Date: 29 May 08 - 03:08 PM

"Sure, why would someone want to listen to you when there are others who are trying to make a living with their music and deserve support."

Christ on a friggin' bike, why are Mudcatters so obtuse?

Ron, Ron oh Ron... can't you see that that was exactly the point I was trying to make?

As for hats and trouble: do we not think the folk world could handle a bit of good old "trouble" (behatted or otherwise) to shake it out of its complacency?

You're right about one thing though, Ron - the UK folk world is heaving with snobs. That's why every morning I look inthe mirror and thank the "lord" I'm not a folkie...

Snail: Ok, we'll call it a "continuum" if it makes you happy. I'm at one end. Can we agree SOMEONE must be at the other? Doesn't matter where you draw the "dividing line" (your term, not mine). Wherever you want, I s'pose.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 29 May 08 - 03:13 PM

I've never been convinced that popularity is something to be unquestioningly sought - unless your goal is lots of money, of course.

I was watching that Gryff Rhys Jones programme about British mountains the other night. Part of it was about the Mass Trespass, in the Peak District, in the 1930s ("Altogether, now! I'm a rambler, I'm a rambler etc., etc."). In those days lots of brave working men and women, from Northern industrial towns, risked injury and imprisonment for the right to roam. Now, 70 odd years later, you have to queue to get to the top of Kinder Scout and the Pennine Way is a sort of 3 mile wide muddy groove in the landscape. I know it will probably be considered patronising to say so but lots of people are just sheep-like fashion victims. Things have a tendency to become popular when certain elements in society declare them to be 'fashionable' - and members of the 'flock' have a tendency to destroy such things and then move on to something else. Do we really want this to happen to Folk?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 29 May 08 - 03:23 PM

"christ on a friggin' bike, why are Mudcatters so obtuse?

Ron, Ron oh Ron... can't you see that that was exactly the point I was trying to make?"

Don't be so full of yourself. If you writing was clear, it would not have been questioned. You are getting like the snobs you complain about!!


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Def Shepard
Date: 29 May 08 - 03:37 PM

Shimrod said, "Now, 70 odd years later, you have to queue to get to the top of Kinder Scout and the Pennine Way is a sort of 3 mile wide muddy groove in the landscape."

You think that's bad, you should see the queue to get to the summit of Everest, and I'm not kidding


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 29 May 08 - 03:55 PM

I am Rachel Unthank. Worship at my clogs.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 29 May 08 - 04:21 PM

Over the 50 plus years that I have been in and around folk music, I have seen people dressed like young bolsheviks, frowsy housewives, prim maidens, cowboys, hobos and farmers in bib overalls. Some of the early success stories revolved around groups of young collegiate types in pinstripe Gant shirts and Ivy League haircuts. They have been clean shaven (yes, the women too), bearded, professorial and tweedy - often seedy. In short, there is no "image" in folk music. It reflects us and our history and we reflect it in all sorts of unique and diverse ways.

When you start trying too hard to package this genre of music, or any other, the package becomes the focus, not the music. If you need to package yourself as a performer, that need may well transcend the music itself.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Peace
Date: 29 May 08 - 04:28 PM

"I made it a habit along time ago of only "shalting" what I feel comfortable with,"

I will not say it.
I will not say it.
I will not say it.
I will not . . . .


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,ESAM
Date: 29 May 08 - 04:36 PM

"Don't be so full of yourself."

I'm not.

But if you'd read the whole post rather than just the part you selectively quoted (and just for context if you'd noticed - as I made clear - that I was responding to an earlier post by L'Escargot), you wouldn't have missed the point by about 180 degrees! Nothing snobbish about that, wouldn't you agree?

And anyway it was YOU complaining about snobs. I merely had the gall to agree with you. Sorry 'bout that. God knows the extent to which you'd spit the dummy if I was DISagreeing with you...

Ho hum.

Currently listening to "Ballad of the Black Country" by Jon Raven with John Kirkpatrick, Dave Oxley and Mike Billington. Lovely, spirited stuff.
TJ - with you entirely. Wear what is right for you and bugger the rest of 'em.

I draw the line at hideous pseudopsychedelic juggling pants though. Especially on people my age. It's not big or clever. They seriously get me doing the opposite of "shalting" fit to burst.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 29 May 08 - 04:43 PM

Once told my wife her trousers looked like they belonged to a diabolo user which was enough to ensure they never saw the light of day, as befits a fashion and textiles lecturer (or whatever it is she does). It has to be said most folk festivals are attended by people who don't own mirrors.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Ewan etc
Date: 29 May 08 - 05:21 PM

To be honest, Glueman, I wish "folkies" still looked like this YES!
That's REAL psychedelia, not any of this half-arsed baggy-arsed nonsense.

I own a pair of black straight-leg Ben Sherman trousers with a narrow white pinstripe, which in my own way, like to think of as a personal tribute to that brief period when folkies looked halfway decent...


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 29 May 08 - 05:24 PM

spit the dummy???????????


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 29 May 08 - 05:26 PM

Sorry ESAM, it was my fault. This language difference made it difficult for me to understand you.

I do like "spit the dummy". How cute!!!


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned A Monster
Date: 29 May 08 - 05:56 PM

In the spirit of your last post, let's say it was at least 50% my fault too then, Ron.

Generally I do tend to agree with a fair few of you posts, by the way.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Folkiedave
Date: 29 May 08 - 06:34 PM

It has to be said most folk festivals are attended by people who don't own mirrors.

So?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST
Date: 29 May 08 - 06:55 PM


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: meself
Date: 29 May 08 - 06:56 PM

Okay, now that we're all friends - is anyone going to explain "spit the dummy"?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Tangledwood
Date: 29 May 08 - 07:01 PM

It's something to reflect on.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,ESAM
Date: 29 May 08 - 07:02 PM

It's actually an Aussie term, Meself - it means to indulge in a sudden outburst of anger, irritation, petulance, annoyance or general grumpiness. It's not usually meant particularly harshly.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 29 May 08 - 07:10 PM

Thank you ESAM. You also taught me to not jump to conclusions and to read more carefully!! Sorry about that!
Sorry, that was me apologizing at 06:55pm.   Lost my cookie!

Yes, I spit the dummy.   

I guess that is better than loping the mule!


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: meself
Date: 29 May 08 - 07:15 PM

Ah, thank you. Now, as for "loping the mule" ... ?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: melodeonboy
Date: 29 May 08 - 07:38 PM

"the UK folk world is heaving with snobs"

The part of it that I inhabit certainly isn't! The places where I sing and play are heaving with easy-going, friendly and often rather amusing characters. Yes, we know that snobs are out there, but let's not exaggerate their number or importance.

You know the squeakiest wheel always gets the most oil!


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: melodeonboy
Date: 29 May 08 - 07:42 PM

....and by the way, it's all very well saying that Radio 2 isn't weird. Wogan in the morning is definitely weird. Or is sh*te music interspersed with condescending tittle-tattle now considered to be "normal"?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 May 08 - 08:21 PM

ESAM<

Ok, we'll call it a "continuum" if it makes you happy. I'm at one end. Can we agree SOMEONE must be at the other?

Of course, but can we also agree that there are a lot of people in-between as well?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,ESAM
Date: 29 May 08 - 08:31 PM

Snail, of course we can.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Ewan Spawned a Monster
Date: 29 May 08 - 08:36 PM

Melodeon Boy: Wogan inhabits a world that is strangely strange but oddly normal, as his more outre compatriots might say... and "sh*te music interspersed with condescending tittle-tattle" (great line, BTW) is surely Radio 2's stock-in-trade?

You're right about not everyone being a snob. They do make the loudest noise though...


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 30 May 08 - 02:02 AM

So indeed Folkiedave. It doesn't bother me a jot that festivals are inhabited by minor characters from Lord of the Rings. Plus I can't recall any folk songs to do with fine tailoring (off hand).
Weirdness is in the eye - and ear - of the beholder. There's nothing stranger than implied behavioural normalcy, to use an Americanism and men in suits give me a twitch as do Radio 2, car salesmen and politicians.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 May 08 - 03:37 AM

They're not really folksnobs. They're all nice people - close up.

They're are folknobs - people who are defininitely 'someone' in the folk world.

And there are people who would like to be 'someone'.

And there are the rest of us.......and sometimes you do get a crick in the neck looking up to them all the time.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 May 08 - 03:41 AM

There's nothing stranger than implied behavioural normalcy

Nothing? Nothing at all? Wow........


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 May 08 - 03:46 AM

What a thoughtful and well-presented question - of course there are generalities; short of writing a book on the subject, there are bound to be with a subject like this.
When I first 'discovered' folk music, my instinct was to tell everybody I knew about it - that instinct has never left me. I still want to fill the place with people who are able to sit and enjoy, or to perform the music I love and have been listening to for over 40 years. Why wouldn't I - it's not my music to keep locked away in a cupboard for my own personal use - I have it on loan, the same as the rest of you?
I'm more than a little disturbed by some of the responses here - I don't think anybody has used the term 'great unwashed', but the implication is there. The music I refer to as 'folk' was made and kept alive by TGU, a club I'm pleased to belong to (Topic had the right of it when they called their magnificent set of recordings 'The Voice of The People')
I have spent the time I have been listening to music with a foot in two camps; in the UK where I watched the clubs drain away to a tiny trickle, and here in Ireland, where you can't throw a stone without hitting a young musician playing like a virtuoso, or at least well enough to guarantee that it will be around for at least another couple of generations (I'm talking about instrumental music - song hasn't got there yet, but we can but hope).
This, I am convinced, has been achieved, by a dedicated group of people who know eaxactly what the music is and what it stands for, have been lucky enough to be able to sit down with the previous generation of musicians, and have had the good sense to listen and learn.
Folk music (in the correct sense of the word) is still a minority activity - It always has been, but is far less a minority that it was even ten years ago - long may that be the case.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 30 May 08 - 04:55 AM

"Nothing? Nothing at all? Wow........"

Indeed. It assumes its own peerlessness. Then seeks to frame the terms of reference by which it can even be discussed. In that way it's a lot like folk.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 May 08 - 05:58 AM



Snail, of course we can.

Excellent. So you're no longer saying that, on one hand, we have one arm and, on the other hand, we have another arm that have an "at times fraught relationship"?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Mr Happy
Date: 30 May 08 - 06:23 AM

Many similarities in this discussion to the arguments which emerged here:thread.cfm?threadid=110584#2322392


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 May 08 - 06:28 AM

There does seem to be a resurgence of the trouser obsession.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,ESAM
Date: 30 May 08 - 06:29 AM

I am indeed.

The two do not necessarily rule each other out.

There's a continuum between and even within mainstream political parties, for example. Or libertarian vs authoritarian mindsets, for another. Plenty of fraught relationships there, doncha think?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,ESAM
Date: 30 May 08 - 06:31 AM

"There does seem to be a resurgence of the trouser obsession"

Quite right too. You can tell a lot about soneone from their trousers.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 30 May 08 - 06:33 AM

The trouser issue won't go away that easy. If I could spell shibboleth I'd blow one.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 May 08 - 07:33 AM

Ho Hum.

Jim - you and I have so many things that we share in common. I hate to differ. But heres my opinion.

The teenage folkmusic instrumental virtuoso phenomena has indeed reached England. And it has ensured that what passes for folkmusic will go on for another century or for as long as our governments are daft enough to subsidise it. But by god it depresses me.


Somehow it reminds me of those old films of schoolkids in black and white 'enjoying themselves' folkdancing. Somehow you just knew there was some bastard in a bri-nylon shirt and tweed tie in the background ready to beat them into submission if they didn't accomplish the 'step close step' routines. thats the kind of ghastly music these people produce.It empties rooms faster than a trapeze artist with diarrhoea.

A couple years back I was in a village hall where some pensioners were trapped having one pile of virtuosity dumped on them after another. I will never forget the looks of desperation (many didn't have the mobility to escape) on those pitiable old faces. Neither will I forget the looks of contempt from the organisers of the festival (arriba! arriba! carnival fun for all!) at these old people who had built every stick of the civilisation that these purveyors of culture enjoyed.

Say what you want about Daniel O'Donnel - he connects better with that generation than anybody on yours and mine Christmas Card list.

Anyay I'm off to Grantham folk festival - I wonder if Maggie is a patron!

see ya

al


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Doktor Doktor
Date: 30 May 08 - 08:01 AM

Catters need neither x-rays, CT Scans not for that matter proctologists. We're so introspective we can see right up our own ....[insert description of choice].


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 30 May 08 - 08:06 AM

Trousers?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST
Date: 30 May 08 - 08:23 AM

WMD
Not particularly interested in 'what passes for folk music'!
Couldn't give two monkeys for Daniel O'Donnell
Fed up to the back teeth with 'folkies' wingeing and snivelling about 'long ballads' and 'boring' folksongs.
If they don't like folksong - and I have been persuaded during many of these threads, that many people involved in folk clubs and festivals, most definitely don't - fine, let them go and fight their corner for whatever particular brand of music they do like.
Folksong has to stand or fall by it's own merits; if it has no relevance it will die; pity, but that's how it should be.
All the re-packaging, re-defining, de-sanitising and diluting in order to make it acceptible to a wider audience is not going to help its survival by one iota.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,ESAM
Date: 30 May 08 - 08:43 AM

"The teenage folkmusic instrumental virtuoso phenomena has indeed reached England"

Who we thinking of here? Not another dig at the handful of kids who've been on the traditional music course at Newcastle, by any chance? That wouldn't be predictable, would it?

Virtuosity (or even lack of virtuosity) has never been the problem. You can be a virtuoso and still have passion, fire, soul, verve and all the rest of it. Bellowhead spring to mind, for instance. You can also barely carry a tune and just about strum a few chords and still have all that- though it might be harder. Some virtuosos are all about boring noodling - but that's surely not because they're too good at playing their instrument? Isn't it about lack of imagination and fire in the belly?

No the problem isn't virtuosity - it's blandness, dullness, terribly British NICENESS, politeness and the reduction of something vibrant and soulful to half-arsed anodyne crap.

More country than folk, but last night I listened to "Ancestral Swamp" by Michael Hurley. He may be an ancient, gnarly old giffer, but by god he's still on fire. Snock's Jukebox


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 May 08 - 06:09 PM

1.Be yourself.2 Have respect for your material.3. enjoy what you are doing,this can mean not taking too many gigs [Despite financial pressures].
4,realise that traditional music,does not need to be altered for it to be sold to the public.
Traditional singers have much in common with the old blues singers,there is a dignity in their music,they are singing about how life has affected them,
but unless the music is exposed to people it will die,it is no use the collectors expecting people to come seeking it.,it doesnt have to be desanatised,re defined or repackaged but it does need to be promoted with energy,people have to know it is there.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Stringsinger
Date: 30 May 08 - 06:30 PM

Alan Surtees says,

"That folk music was, originally, of its day, not traditional, but pertinent to that moment in time, in the same way that pop music has relevance today. It was the only form of musical entertainment available to anyone. There was no competition and each country had its own musical style and its own instruments. Travel, conquest and trade routes would have introduced new styles and instruments across the continents and then across the world."

That's a pretty declarative statement that requires a response. The folk music of its day may well have been traditional as a folk song is like a tributary in a great river of song.
It usually is a variant of a predecessor and unlike pop music, not written for market.
One of the important ingredients of a folk song is its connection to another similar song that predates it.

The nature of folk music in a sense defies its commercialization by being in "show business" although that image of the singer/guitarist is the current association for people that haven't studied or listened to folk music very long. In a sense, the idea of "show bizzing" up folk is almost an oxymoron. Many really interesting performers of folk music are not professional entertainers but through field recordings and listening to them on back porches or living rooms, the essence of folk music is communicated. It might be a moving lullabye that a mother sings, a field holler by a African-American migrant worker,
the wail of a harmonica under a tree somewhere in North Carolina or Kentucky, two young women with guitars singing for themselves in sweet harmony which would be not interesting for an audience used to momentous production values, dry ice, loud mics or whatever is being sold today.

I think folk music will always have an audience but not necessarily a show biz one.
Even the coffee house has its own conventions wherein many traditional folk performers would not fit comfortably. Folk music by necessity has a social component that has little to do with performer/audience conventions. An Irish sean-nos ballad in a pub is closer to the real deal or a fiddler playing a tune for dancers in a remote area of Cape Breton.
This will never do on American Idol and frankly who cares? "Hey, folksingers are too pitchy, dog!"

Away from the marketplace, folk music still survives and always will.

Frank


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Teribus
Date: 31 May 08 - 08:51 AM

Thank you Al:

"It empties rooms faster than a trapeze artist with diarrhoea."

My best laugh of the week and one that definitely deserves filing away for future use, absolutely brilliant.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 31 May 08 - 05:03 PM

Yep! I gotta file that one away, too. Still cackling! (Jeez, what an image!!)

Just a passing thought on a quiet afternoon.

I thoroughly enjoy getting together with a group of friends and sitting around of an afternoon or evening (or sometimes both) singing for each in an informal song fest. Nothing so formal as a folk club or song circle.

Although this (fortunately) is not my experience with my particular circle of folk singing friends and acquaintances, it appears that in many areas, such as in many of the folk clubs that I read about here on Mudcat, things seem to be growing increasingly circumscribed. Rules of behavior (um—behaviour?) that require one to keep detailed and up-to-date lists of which songs are "in favor" and which are "out." For example, I understand that in many clubs, anyone caught singing, say, "The Fields of Athenry," or "The Wild Rover," or (God help you!) anything like "Greensleeves," or any ballad of more than four verses will be met with eye-rolling, deep sighing, and general indications of boredom and disapproval, if not a barrage of overripe vegetables.

Spiky bunch!

This is one of the reasons that, other than the informal song fests mentioned above, when it comes to gigs, I generally tend to prefer to sing for non-folkie groups and general audiences (early music enthusiasts are especially receptive), composed of people who are not acquainted with what's "in" and what's "out" among various coteries of "folkies." I can sing a program of good songs, regardless of how frequently they have been sung in some folk club, and the audience, unfamiliar with all, or at least most of them, are there to enjoy, not to sit there being gimlet-eyed and hypercritical.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Folkiedave
Date: 31 May 08 - 05:21 PM

it appears that in many areas, such as in many of the folk clubs that I read about here on Mudcat, things seem to be growing increasingly circumscribed. Rules of behavior (um—behaviour?) that require one to keep detailed and up-to-date lists of which songs are "in favor" and which are "out." For example, I understand that in many clubs, anyone caught singing, say, "The Fields of Athenry," or "The Wild Rover," or (God help you!) anything like "Greensleeves," or any ballad of more than four verses will be met with eye-rolling, deep sighing, and general indications of boredom and disapproval, if not a barrage of overripe vegetables.

I wouldn't believe everything I read on Mudcat, Don.

Except what I write of course......:-)


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 31 May 08 - 07:11 PM

Well, I'd rather not believe a lot of the stuff I read here, Folkiedave, but there seems to be so much of the "If I hear someone sing 'Fields of Athenry' one more time, I'm going to run up there and rip the singer's tongue out!" sort of thing, or how someone droned on for twelve whole verses of some old ballad and rendered every asleep that it makes me think that some folk clubs I hear about aren't that much fun.

But maybe these posts come from particularly cranky and jaded people. There was a time around here when certain songs got pretty oversung and caused a bit of eyerolling (I admit to being an eyeroller from time to time), but the unfortunate result of this is that a lot of good songs got tabled, with the result that no one even knows them anymore. Come to think of it, I haven't heard anyone sing "John Henry" for decades. And they were good songs. Still are, for that matter.

I'm actually tempted to put together a program of songs that met that fate some years back for a concert or CD entitled "Oh, No! Not That Again!" There are some relative newcomers to folk music--and some not-so-newcomers--who may have never even heard them!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 06:17 AM

Don,
Been waiting to hear somebody say that for a long time
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 07:53 AM

I'm in two minds about the 'oversung songs' thing. I've never heard Streets of London at a folk club, & I've only heard Blowin' in the Wind once; I don't feel like I've been missing out. What does seem to have happened recently - & here I sympathise more with Jim than Al - is a big revival in 'folk' meaning 'here are some songs I wrote in my bedroom'. They're not all bad - some of them are very, very good - but they're not folk music, to my mind; not 'nu-folk' or 'wyrd folk' or 'twisted folk', just not folk.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Snuffy
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 11:53 AM

An old thread here about 'oversung songs'


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 12:12 PM

Be more militant - speak out and let people know that not all but a lot of pop, e.g., is the over-accompanied hyped-up garbage of taut-tushed mimers.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 01:08 PM

". . . over-accompanied hyped-up garbage of taut-tushed mimers."

Now, that is a good line!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 01:41 PM

I could of added "artificial", I suppose, Don.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 02:20 PM

Folk or no, once you put it on a stage--or provide a similarly functioning barrier between performer and audience--it's entertainment.
Different standards.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 02:53 PM

WalkaboutsVerse

I could of added "artificial", I suppose, Don.

"could OF"?!

If you are going to stand up for English culture, at least learn to speak the language properly.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 04:19 PM

What's wrong with could of?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 04:24 PM

Dick,
Sorry, don't follow you; can't culture be entertaining.
I am highly entertained by Dickens and Hardy, which was, I believe, their reason for writing.
Jim


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 04:26 PM

Sedayne

What's wrong with could of?

Whimper.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 04:35 PM

It makes logical sense pragmatically to use of rather than have in this case; the intention & sense is in no way compromised. I find such prissy pedantry alarming especially in the light of recent discussion regarding the delights of the vernacular. As a Northumbrian I say could of as a matter of course; and I also say treat rather than treated.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 04:37 PM

treat, pronounced tret


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 04:50 PM

Whimper.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 05:19 PM

Along with majoring in Music in college, I minored in English.
I have also worked as both writer and editor.

Re: "could of," what can I say but

Aaaaaagh!!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 05:36 PM

An excellent resource   HERE.    Bookmark it for future reference!

Regarding "could of," check   HERE

("Could of" is also dealt with on a web site under "10 grammar mistakes that make you look like an idiot!")

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 05:43 PM

Thank you, Don.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 06:01 PM

Jim

It makes no difference to the survival of folk music how it is presented........

let us take that to a logical conclusion what you say.

If only people smelling of rotten eggs sang folksongs - would the survival be affected. Course it bloody would.

As the folksong says:-

Think of what you're saying
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong

best wishes

al

PS I take it - you never waltz to Daniel's version of The Galway Shawl or Moonlight in Mayo.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 06:03 PM

Jim-
No reason at all that folk music can't be entertaining. It's just that there's a real qualitative difference between singing in a small room and upon a stave.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 06:30 PM

10 grammar mistakes that make you look like an idiot

Allow me to reiterate, o erudite ones. As a native born Northumbrian I say could of as part of my oral vernacular culture, of which I am rightfully proud. It is not a grammatical mistake, more of a pragmatic anomaly, though of course this will be lost on small-minded pedants hung up The Rule. The Rule derives from what it has observed to be the consensus, as such it remains, in essence, a theoretical construct. The Rule does not define the nature of that consensus, much less contain it; nor does it allow for the fact that there will always be exceptions, not so much to prove it, but to give the lie to the very notion that something as vital, rich and eternally diverse as the English Language can ever be understood in such simplistically puerile terms of right and wrong.   

I must say Don, I'm deeply disappointed by your handling of this matter, not to mention resentful for having some American calling me an idiot for speaking the way I do.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 06:41 PM

Sedayne, you're getting as bad as WAV.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: peteglasgow
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 06:48 PM

i'm just into this site following a bit of over zealous moderating on radio 2 message boards. i must say it all looks a bit complicated - anyone else give me a bit of advice on how to make it a bit more obvious and easy to pick which are the more interesting discussions to get stuck into. by the way, i am fairly useful at weilding an apostrophe with confidence but would rather talk about music and/or socialism

peace and love

pete


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Melissa
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 07:38 PM

Hi Pete,
I think the easiest way of falling into threads that contain a high percentage of sensible, decent conversation is to choose the ones whose title looks like it's about something specific.

It seems to me that anything with 'folk' in the title seems to degenerate into a bit of pushy-pully. Good information sometimes, but more insults.

I guess you've probably found the search feature? You can use that to dig up old threads on nearly anything you can think of. If you reply to those old threads, they pop onto the current list and sometimes revive into neat discussions as people add stuff they've found since the last time the thread was current.

Also, there's a good 'newcomers guide' thing which is a clicky at the top of the threads on the list.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 07:47 PM

Lighten up, Sedayne!

If that's your regional vernacular, then fine. I'm not going to twit some Scottish lad for say "ain" instead of "own" or someone from Alabama for saying "Ah speck" instead of "I expect."

But vernacular is not necessarily correct grammar (or pronunciation). And if I wanted to resent something, I would resent, first, being called a "pedant" in a rather contemptuous manner for knowing the rules of grammar (which, incidentally, were the tools of my trade when I worked as an editor and as a broadcaster), using "American" in a manner that implies that Americans are somehow below the salt, and the fact the you are inaccurately claiming that I called you "an idiot," which I did not. I referred to something said on a web site, which you took personally. Well, as the saying goes, "If the shoe fits, and you want to loudly announce that it fits, then that's your privilege."

I am deeply disappointed in you for being deeply disappointed in me.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 07:51 PM

By the way, that was 100!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: melodeonboy
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 09:04 PM

It's not a matter of accent; it's a matter of not understanding the grammar. To the best of my knowledge, in most, if not all, English accents, the pronunciation of "of" in an unstressed position is identical to the pronunciation of "have" in an unstressed position. The sound produced will be roughly "uhv" (which is the nearest approximation that I can manage, not having phonetic script on my computer!). In phonetic script this would be indicated by a schwa followed by the v symbol. The fact that the two are phonetically identical makes it easy to understand why so many people will write "of" when they mean "have" or "'ve".

The sentence in question was a past conditional sentence. It is the modal verb "have" combined with the past participle of the main verb which gives the sentence its past tense reference. Look at the following examples and you'll understand why it must be "have" and not "of":

Present: If I had £2,000, I could buy that Castagnari melodeon.

Past: If I had had £2,000, I could have bought that Castagnari melodeon.

Sorry to be so pedantic, but I thought it was better to sort the bloody thing out once and for all!

Regarding the oversung songs, I can only think of three that might be judged harshly in the circles that I move in. I have seen a few people wince at "Fields of Athenry"; I wince at "Streets of London", although I'm pretty much out on my own on this one; I think I'm right in saying that nobody would even attempt "Wild Rover" unless it was a comic version.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 09:35 PM

Thank you, melodeonboy. Well sorted.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Tangledwood
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 12:27 AM

"Regarding the oversung songs, I can only think of three that might be judged harshly in the circles that I move in. I have seen a few people wince at "Fields of Athenry"; I wince at "Streets of London", although I'm pretty much out on my own on this one; I think I'm right in saying that nobody would even attempt "Wild Rover" unless it was a comic version. "

Can harshly judging oversung songs remove them from ciculation altogether? After about fourteen years attending local folk festivals I had no idea what "Fields of Athenry" even sounded like. It is only in the last few months that I heard it at the local club. In fact I heard the parody "anti" version first.
"Streets of London" was the first song for which I managed to sing and play guitar simultaneously (insert gasp of admiration here), so it holds a soft spot for me. I occasionally do it at the club and it seems to go down well with everybody joining in. "Wild Rover" - well it only seems to be done to the Ghost Riders tune.

"in the circles that I move in" is probably the key element to all this.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 01:50 AM

Catching up on this - don't you buggers ever sleep?
Dick - I never sang on a stave, sounds bloody uncomfortable! (sorry - couldn't resist).
I use the term 'culture myself (probably over-use it), but I worry sometimes when it is used as an either-or, alongside entertainment - not saying that's what you're doing, just that it happens.
Anybody who saw Sam Larner singing 'Henry Martin' or Jamesie McCarthy , 'Cuchie, Cuchie Coo Go Way' ('Keach in the Creel'), or Walter Pardon, 'The Cunning Cobbler' (which he described as 'Chaucerian'), whether it was on a large stage or a small club-room would realise that you were being entertained with 'culture'. The best of our older singers left you with the feeling that they had singled you out and singing just for you, whatever the surroundings.
WD40
I think, in terms of how the question was set, appearance really doesn't matter; your 'rotten eggs' analogy is not a logical conclusion (unless they have been thrown by the audience of course).
Talk about presentation sets the alarm-bells ringing for me; it harks back to the time I discovered jazz, with the bowler hats and striped waistcoats; or C&W and the 10 gallons and high boots.
I started going to the clubs when they were, as Billy Connolly put it, "full of pullovers all singing 'The Wild Rover'". I won't begin to air my views about pewter tankards.
Uniforms are designed to set people aside and make them different - rather like Gary Larson's deer with the 'bummer of a birthmark'.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 02:53 AM

Dammit all Melodeonboy, "...in the circles in which I move...", please.

And there are four reasons to wince at "Athenrae"

1. Most people don't realise it is contemprary and not a folk song.

2. It is anti-English

3. Too many people sing it

4. "It's such a boring song
It goes on and on and on
I'm so pissed off with the Fields of Athenrae"


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 03:39 AM

My name is Phil and I like Fields of Athenry. There, I've said it. (Admittedly I've only heard it done by one singer.)

I wince at "Streets of London", although I'm pretty much out on my own on this one; I think I'm right in saying that nobody would even attempt "Wild Rover" unless it was a comic version.

At a pub session in Chorlton a few years ago Les (of this board) gave us his own parody of WR, which went down well - so well, in fact, that the landlady approached us after we'd shut up & asked if we could do Wild Rover again, as it was her favourite. De gustibus and all that.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 04:53 AM

Wild rover, streets of london, Fields of Athenry.....

sounds like my sort of a night.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 05:06 AM

weelittledrummer

Wild rover, streets of london, Fields of Athenry.....

sounds like my sort of a night.


Don't forget The Black Velvet Band.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 05:08 AM

it's a matter of not understanding the grammar.

Grammar is not an objective absolute; rather it is an innately subjective set of linguistic variables the nature of which will never be understood by seeing language as a set of rules. Where do these rules come from for fuck's sake? Who's up there writing them down? God? Just as there is no God, there is no absolute rule book, and yet people are still talking. See what Chomsky has to say, or even WIKI : Transformational Grammar.

We are born understanding the grammar, the grammar is hard-wired into the human brain ready to deal with the cultural software of language, which we receive in any number of ways, and in any number of vernacular variables any one of which might be said to be grammatically correct as long as people understand one another. Abide by your fairy-tale notions of Absolute Grammatical Correctness all you want, but appreciate that such linguistic diversity a) exists, b) is a very good & desirable thing and c) impossible to govern by a set of rules. Language is a cleansing wildfire, it is where the subjectivity of individual cognition & the objectivity of collective culture intertwine, sparking off the empirical excellence of being alive in the first place. Language a two-way interface that determines the vitality of all cultural change & exchange & the most sweetly eloquent of colloquial intercourse - and in the vernacular, language is at its wildest and most dynamic.

It's the petty nick-picking that pisses me off the most, however; that smug tone of resolute righteousness that pervades such posts as TheSnail's response to WAVs initial could of, and all whimpering and aarghing that followed. Intentional snickering malice? On a folk music forum? Whatever next! Still, whilst such cultural autism is to be expected from enthusiasts of any stripe, when it comes basic human decency there's simply no excuse.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 05:20 AM

I could of said "should of", I suppose. And the tennis ball comes "off the racket" NOT "off of the racket."


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Couldof
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 05:38 AM

You should of let it go Sedayne. Regional variations are obviously alien to their view of the correct order of things. If they persist contact that well known Newcastle firm of solicitors Haddaway & Shite. I would of done that after their first insulting response.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 06:08 AM

I could of said "should of", I suppose.

Of course you could of, but could of's cool; we all know what you meant after all, which is the main thing.

And the tennis ball comes "off the racket" NOT "off of the racket."

It does in London, WAV; I was once soundly ordered off of the bus by a justifiably belligerent inspector for not having a valid ticket (hey, it's always worth a try) for my journey from Camden to Clapham on the 88. Made it far as Stockwell anyway...

Haddaway & Shite

I'm onto them just now to see if I can make a valid case for cultural discrimination.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 06:14 AM

Sedayne, WalkaboutsVerse vigorously champions all things English with all the zealotry of the new convert yet frequently commits severe abuse of the English language. By drawing attention to "could of", I was making a sardonic comment, not just nit-picking. WAV boasts of his educational qualifications but made a mistake worthy of an illiterate fourteen year old.

Written English is not just a phonetic representation of the spoken word, it carries meaning. "of" and "have" (even if they sound similar) are different words with different meanings and are not interchangeable.

Ewe may not care weather ewe ewes the write words four the write things when you right them down, but eye do.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 06:36 AM

TheSnail (sic), - WAV can say & believe what he wants; it's the ideas we're challenging, not him personally, and even then on sound theoretical foundations without resorting to the petty pedantry which is just so much horse piss anyway, even more so if used sardonically, or by by way of wanting to show someone up or else openly insult them, as is obviously the case here.

Written Engish is just a phonetic representation of the spoken word; it carries meaning for sure, but never so far removed from pragmatic intention, nor yet so absolute, as to justify the shameful righteous priggery you & Don have displayed here. Remember, people were talking to one another a very long time before they ever started trying to write it down, and even longer before they started looking for grammatical patterns. Mistakes are made, variations occur - so fuck?

Meanwhile, I refer you both to my above mentioned solicitors - Haddaway & Shite.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 07:12 AM

Sorry Sedayne. I just think the English language is of more value than anything WAV has to say.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 07:41 AM

I could of put "could have", Snail, as you coud have put W.A.V. - for the sake of folk-forum image and presentation. And I still say the ball comes off (not off of) the racket, and that sneaky Sedayne had, eventually, to get off (not off of) that London bus...fancy a Cockney? using "off of"...


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 08:27 AM

WalkaboutsVerse

...fancy a Cockney?

No, but I could quite fancy a Strawberry Tart.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 08:31 AM

would some care to precis the story so far - I've got a bit lost on this one.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 08:55 AM

Just for the Snail: Was it a Cockney, Sedayne/sir, who asked you to alight the bus, during your visit to our capital city?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 09:37 AM

Certainly a Londoner at any rate, WAV - and white, of course, if that's at all an issue with you, but in any case I'm sure I didn't stop to ask him if he'd been born within the sound of Bow Bells. Used to hear of off a lot in London, maybe you still do, but I haven't been since 1999, though that particular episode took place back in the eighties, so maybe it wasn't an 88 after all, just a bus from Camden to Clapham High Street.

Sneaky Sedayne? When I lived in Newcastle I was never too keen on paying Metro fares either; time was an old pre-decimal ha'pennies registered as a pound coin in the ticket machines; and if I ever I was caught without a ticket, I wasn't above coughing up the spot fine if caught, which you seldom were of course, so it paid not to pay. One Christmas time I remember getting caught and the ticket collectors didn't fine me, rather they covered me head to toe with Silly String Spray much to the hilarity of the other passengers. A fair cop I'd say!

Don't despair, WAV - just doing my bit for eco-travel on a shoe-string...


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 01:13 PM

". . . shameful righteous priggery. . . ."

Sedayne, from reading your posts, up until now I've considered you a pretty reasonable guy, but I think I'm going to have to revise my opinion. It sounds like you've gone 'round the bend. You've taken something that started out as twitting WAV (who professes to be a wordsmith) for making a grammatical error, and since you tend to make that same error yourself, you've become ego-involved and blown the matter all out of proportion. I have seldom seen anyone get this emotionally caught up in defending a minor grammatical boo-boo. Amazing!

Of course, one possible tack would be to defend such mistakes in grammar as "folk tradition."

By the way, there should be a comma between "shameful" and "righteous," unless you mean to say that it is the righteousness that is shameful rather than the priggery, in which case it should read "shamefully righteous priggery."

No need to thank me.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Acorn4
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 01:36 PM

Last night I was reading the thread on the "Celtic Woman" CD, much of the content of which seemed relevant to this thread, which seems to have drifted off the point a bit.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 01:49 PM

This board is mad, mad I tell you. Thinly veiled nationalism that would do the Balkans proud, wilful ignorance, snobbery so inverted it's kissing its own tush, cliquishness, sexism.
To answer the original question the image is a joke and presentation is, with some exceptions, hilarious. The music is something else but it lives despite the other two, not because of them.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 02:04 PM

I wouldn't say that Sedayne has gone round the bend but I was a bit taken aback by his passionate defence of bad English.

I would normally consider picking on grammatical errors or spelling mistakes an unworthy thing to do (after all, I'm not immune) but, as I tried to say, WAV lays great emphasis on his academic qualifications as justification for his confused ideas. His continuous mangling of written English rather undermines that position and is, therefore, valid to comment on.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 04:18 PM

Hmm . . . perhaps not all the way around the bend, but I did think the reaction was, shall we say, a bit over the top (one direction or the other)? After all, my reference to the web site that listed "10 grammar mistakes that make you look like an idiot!" was more a humorous poke than seriously calling someone an "idiot." As, indeed, was the web site where I found it. It was saying, in semi-humorous vein (but with ominous rumblings), that in a piece of serious writing, committing these errors could have the unfortunate result of one's writing not being taken as seriously as one wishes it might be.

Whereas Sedayne, a Northumbrian, seems to resent having his English corrected by a lowly and barbaric American such as myself, I do not at all mind being amused, enlightened, and edified by an English writer (born in Kingston-on-Thames) such as the delightful Lynne Truss, who, in her book Eats, Shoots & Leaves : The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, demonstrates humorously how a missing, misplaced, or extraneous comma can change the entire meaning of a sentence. Then Ms. Truss goes on to cover quite a bit more than just punctuation. It now has an honored place beside H. W. Fowler's Modern English Usage and Strunk and White's The Elements of Style on my bookshelf, along with a careful selection of style and grammar manuals, an excellent book on editing and revision (Getting the Words Right* : How to Revise, Edit & Rewrite by Theodore A. Rees Cheney), and a couple of good dictionaries, including the two volume OED complete with magnifying glass.

This, of course, does not safeguard me from making the occasional grammatical error. And then again, I also tend to write in a fairly colloquial and informal manner. But—I sometimes get paid for my writing. . . .

Don Firth

*Paraphrasing a quote by Ernest Hemingway. When asked why he had rewritten the final chapter of one of his novels some twenty-nine times, he responded "I was just trying to get the words right."

P. S. Now, back to tormenting WAV!!


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 04:59 PM

Evening all,things a bit quiet in Dock Green.
Few minor punctuation mistakes,a poor man who thought he was Mcgonagle,soon dealt with that, a short sharp shock up the scrotum.,hes now playing sopranino on his recorder.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 08:09 PM

Don Firth

P. S. Now, back to tormenting WAV!!

He feels no pain.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Jun 08 - 10:14 PM

Apparently true. 'Twas but a futile jest.

I am particularly enthralled by WAV saying on another thread that he derives great truths by going back and re-reading his own writings. Nice to be so certain of one's omniscience and invulnerability.

The Inerrant Word of WalkaboutsVerse. . . .

It does tend to isolate one from we mere mortals.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 05:32 AM

Don and TheSnail -

My defence was not of bad English, rather an assault on the rather priggish notion that there can ever be such a thing as bad English as defined by a rule that exists at a very significant remove from the language it is attempting to thusly define. We don't learn language in the same way we might learn to drive a motorcar, or to play a melodeon; rather language is the defining attribute of our humanity, it's a default, common to all, and, as such, it is the measure of both our individual & cultural uniqueness, diversifying into a myriad forms by virtue of factors other than following rule books which, for the vast majority of us, are a complete irrelevance. We humans are born with a virile preparedness for language - and so we talk without even being aware of such things as verbs, adverbs, tenses, noun-phrases, bilabial fricatives et al, and yet we use them anyway because our capacity for language is as innate and inherent as our understanding of the psycho-social elements of linguistic structure - which includes everything from basic syntax to the morphology of the Indo-European folk-tale.

As with music, I love language in terms of its humanity, and would value the words spoken by TheSail's hypothetical illiterate fourteen-year-old as much as I would the written words of Shakespeare. And just as I am heartened by the misplaced apostrophe on the greengrocer's stall, I despair at books such as Eats, Shoots and Leaves for therein lies a self-righteous pomposity that, I fear, is endemic in an academia too busy tossing-off over taxonomy to actually get on with the business of living. It's rather like Dr. Kinsey & his team, who by their study of human sexuality themselves became impotent.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 05:56 AM

"I despair at books such as Eats, Shoots and Leaves"

Too right. Describing Lynn Truss as delightful, a chattering Radio school ma'am only Dickens could have done justice to, shows how barmy this place is.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 06:15 AM

My fingers are too thick, CB, for the sopranino - I have, instead, three plastic recorders: soprano, alto, and tenor (which I play most of the time).
To Don: WalkaboutsVerse is a joining of the first and last words from the full title of my life's work "Walkabouts: travels and conclusions in verse", which I do, indeed, go through once a year, and, frankly, still find mistakes in...just the other day/thread, in fact, Sedayne (who knows his English onions!) had to alert me to "unions" for "onions", which I then fixed on both my master copies and the internet. (So some of the earlier copies that have been gifted to libraries do have a few embarrassing mistakes - but no-one's perfect, and folks can always goto the website to see the most up-to-date corrected version.)


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 06:35 AM

Anyway - getting back on thread...

What is it with folkies that they're so uncomfortable in their own skins? Image & Presentation? Time was we knew exactly what we were dealing with - all those lovely old albums with their rustic graphics & all. Just look at your cherished old vinyl copies of Love, Death and the Lady, or Anthems in Eden much less their CD reissues which manage to fuck them up so completely, although perhaps not as much as that of Adieu to Old England with its rather garish painting of the South Queensferry Bury Man!

In this CD age capacity for such graphic lavishness is depleted, but that isn't to excuse the dirth of design that existed on folk albums of the eighties, though one might be heartened by the digipac, especially as used by Jordi Savall's Alia Vox label, which recognises that visual beauty is at least an aspect of the experience, even if it is still difficult to skin up a decent spliff on such an item. But that's Early Music, which seems entirely happy in its own skin, although watching the repeat of the first episode of BBC4s excellent Early Music show last Friday I might have cause to doubt this, filmed as it was in what appears to be a deserted factory, with rusting machinery & modern lighting effects. Anyway - episode two's on on Friday, 8.00pm, so check it out for yourselves.

Thing is, I gave up buying Folk Product when Peter Bellamy went off to join the heavenly choir, and in my experience since things are generally more cordial if conducted in an environment at least aesthetically conducive to the rustic heartiness of the singaround, which is, with but few exceptions, my only regular contact with the folk world these days. In particular, there's our very own Steamer Hotel in Fleetwood - cordial joviality, good pints, and a good maritime air; we sing in a room named after the hapless commander of the PS Liela who was pulled into its paddle wheels as it sank on its maiden voyage off Liverpool Bay during the American Civil War. His body was caught up in the nets of a Fleetwood trawler some two months later and the inquest held in the very room that bears his name to this day. Then there's The Beech in Chorlton, the room untouched since April 7th 1908 (I've seen the decorators receipt), a veritable time capsule that sings back at you during the choruses of Glorious Ale thus magnifying the souls of all therein. And I must mention The Cumberland Arms in Byker, where we might be found for Joe Crane's legendary first Saturday come-all-ye, weather permitting; here we pass beyond the mere rustic into the realms of a Bohemian Continuity that might beguile even the most cynical of passersby; a cultural mecca for all the good folk of Tyneside, be they punks, comedians, poets, melodeon players, although the landlord recently, and rightly in my opinion, booted the storytellers out for drinking a tenner's worth a night between them, but then again 80% of the audience was under thirteen. Recently we set foot in The Moorbrook in Preston for the Friday night session; the following morning I woke up thinking it must have been a dream, so utterly sublime & perfect was the experience; the perfect context for a perfect music, hitting unprecedented heights with a rendering of the Padstow May Song that had the kids from the pool room abandoning their game to dance in the doorway, beating time with their snooker cues. I imagined them singing it on the terraces of PNE the next day.

Folk - Image - Presentation; hell, was it ever so deliberate as it was instinctive?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 06:51 AM

Blast, another long post disappears into the ether. It was dead good too.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 06:57 AM

Then there's The Beech in Chorlton, the room untouched since April 7th 1908 (I've seen the decorators receipt), a veritable time capsule that sings back at you during the choruses of Glorious Ale thus magnifying the souls of all therein.

Always happy to be a part of the industry of human happiness.

(It's going to be redecorated this year, apparently. Shame.)

a rendering of the Padstow May Song that had the kids from the pool room abandoning their game to dance in the doorway, beating time with their snooker cues

That sounds... extraordinary.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 07:00 AM

Good grammar is a good thing. But I don't always agree with Lynne Truss, nor indeed with Fowler.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 07:06 AM

another long post disappears into the ether

It's the pits, isn't it? I've taken to composing mine as emails & cutting & pasting the text accordingly. A bit of a faff, but I've lost too much good stuff that way.

Meanwhile, might I take this opportunity to amend one of my above sentences thus:

In particular, there's our very own Steamer Hotel in Fleetwood - cordial joviality, good pints, and a good maritime air; we sing in a room named after the hapless commander of the PS Liela who was pulled into her paddle wheels as she sank on her maiden voyage off Liverpool Bay during the American Civil War.

That's better, although WAVs unions really did put a whole different slant on things as I remember it. Innate & timely genius I calls it, WAV - these things will out after all, so fuck the detractors who are only jealous because they haven't got the balls to do it themselves.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 08:11 AM

That sounds... extraordinary

Seriously, Phil - for a few brief moments the collective unconscious woke up and spoke in one clear voice; extraordinary indeed, but petty scary too I'd say. I felt like that bloke in a recent episode of Torchwood who'd looked into the heart of black-hole and got completely insane at what he saw there - I've been screaming ever since! Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners? well, Solomon old boy, at last we have the answer - Aunt Ursula Birdwood, that's who!


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: melodeonboy
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 08:19 AM

"But I don't always agree with Lynne Truss, nor indeed with Fowler."

Mmm.. I wasn't aware that you ever agreed with anyone, Richard! (Tee-hee!)


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 08:29 AM

Pedant alert! My post of 8.10am contains a typo which thus renders a neatly placed adverb into a nonsensical adjective; for this unwitting though entirely unforgivable abuse of the English Language I will now go and lacerate my back with razor blades and rub the resulting wounds with the salty excrement of sea gulls. Better that than having to suffer another volley of puerile smuggery (is there such a word? The red dots would suggest perhaps not, but I rather like it) from Don Firth and his sycophantic mollusc.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: melodeonboy
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 08:59 AM

Yawn!


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 09:11 AM

Speaking of "razor blades", Sedayne (in light of "FOLK: Image & Presentation"), should all male folkies ditch them..?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 09:58 AM

I need them to maintain the goatee; a once a week chore, but essential, I feel, to my general well-being. I stopped cutting my hair almost four years ago, prior to which I usually had it cropped to a Phil Mitchell style grade-one every fortnight or so. My heroes in this respect are Klaus Blasquiz & Rene Zosso, both of whom remain unfashionably hirsute. Lots of old men with long hair, beards & ponytails on The Fylde - not all of them folkies either!


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 10:12 AM

Me too :-)>


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 10:29 AM

Ah, but that's what SWMBO deprecates..


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 10:35 AM

Not in my case, Richard - other than the constant squabbling over the hairbrush of course, and bobbles, especially as my darling Rapunzel is living up to her name these days...


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,ESAM
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 11:23 AM

It's not the beards and ponytails that need to be zapped, it's the friggin' "circus skills workshop" trousers...

Can't juggle, won't juggle and don't wear the trousers.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 12:27 PM

Sedayne may be a fairly sharp fellow, but he certainly doesn't have much of a sense of humor.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Peace
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 12:31 PM

"Good grammar is a good thing."

And if you still have her count your blessings. Mine passed away in 1967.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 01:20 PM

I had an acquaintance once with a severe overbite, eyes that didn't quite track, and a prejudice against frequent bathing. Given what he professed to believe, I don't know why he chose to spend much of his time in places where university students hung out between classes.

He believed that education was a total waste of time and money, and he was particularly disgusted with the English department. Those in the Creative Writing program, such as me, were his particular bugaboo. He felt that such studies were ruining civilization, and although he attempted to speak in the English language (knowing no other), he viewed with contempt the fascinating fact that the English language is perhaps the richest language on the planet, with its vocabulary of approximately 600,000 words, whereas most other languages encompass a vocabulary of around 150,000 words. One of the many advantages of that large a vocabulary is that, especially when combined with the versatile grammatic structure and precise punctuation we possess, it allows for subtle shades of meaning, making possible very precise communication. Nevertheless, my acquaintance found all this far too intimidating to get his mind around. He maintained that it would be a far better world if laws were passed limiting the vocabulary of any language to no more that 350 words. Indeed, he felt even that was too many. He favored a method of communication that involved merely pointing and grunting.

If he'd had the vocabulary, he might have claimed that it is a more "traditional" means of communication.

Once laying out that plan for a glorious future, he rose from the table and departed, his knuckles striking occasional sparks as they dragged along the sidewalk.

Don Firth

P. S. He didn't care for music much, either. But he did like scat singing.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 02:40 PM

I have been trundling through this thread, hoping to learn more about the folk scene, its proponents and detractors. I found myself growing more lost, more confused, more desirous of fitting in with some group. OMG! So shaking myself free of the dogma chasing its own tale (yes I spelled tale the way I wanted to), I have settled on this one paraphrased quote.

"UK folk scene heaving with snobs"

Is it? It was precisely this kind of thing that use to worry me. Being an American living in England and a folk neophyte to boot, I didn't know what I could get away with at sessions. Should I only sing stuff from my native land or what I really love which is music of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

I have since discovered at the few sessions I have attended people were warm and welcoming. Therefore, I will sing what I feel like singing (after enough liquid encouragement) and listen and learn and enjoy what I hear from others. Screw the First Church of Folk! Establishments and institutions are too confining and just wrong.

Oh and I am going to dig out my little white baseball cap and start wearing it again.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 02:45 PM

Sedayne, you don't feel you might be over reacting just a little?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 03:09 PM

Sedayne, you don't feel you might be over reacting just a little?

Not in the slightest - until we get some more hair bobbles & another hair brush these competitive domestic spats will be an inevitability of our ritual preening as we prepare to go out to our local singaround, leaving it until the last minute, as usual (procrastination being the one true noble quality we have in common). Still, chances are I'll be back to my old Phil Mitchell grade-one if we get a decent summer - no need for hair brush or bobbles then!

Anyway, here's Springwatch. They're at Pensthorpe this time round which we visited a couple of years ago, and will do again next week. Seems the weather's a tad inclement in Norfolk right now - here on The Fylde, however, it's sunny & glorious, with the ducks, geese & swans parading with their little ones on the banks of Fairhaven Lake. Heavenly so it is. I'll miss that when we move up to Fleetwood.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 03:16 PM

Virginia, I'm American too. I sing some English, a few American and a few Scottish songs. I've never had anyone in a session or singaround suggest it was inappropriate for me to sing just what I like.

The National Council of the English Folk Dance and Song Society has got Americans, a Scot, a New Zealander - oh, and the odd English person.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 03:32 PM

"Sedayne ... doesn't have much of a sense of humor"

I'm supposed to have given up Mudcat (except for lurking and contributing to threads about the Beech sin(g)around) for some kind of unending personal aetheistic equivalent of Lent. BUT I cannot let Don's comment, mighty fine fellow though I'm sure he is, go unchallenged.

Don, if you were ever to meet Sedayne, you would quickly realise what you have just said is the equivalent of saying soilstacks don't have human poo in them ... or Cornish pasties are a bit lacking in meat and turnip ... or Mrs Kirkham's Tasty Lancashire isn't very cheesy. Wrong, wrong, wrong! And once more, wrong!

This is the man from whom I first heard compulsive wanker joke (he fell down the stairs and smashed his pyjamas).

He's also a man with a deep and playful love of language.

(Sorry, Sedayne, I know you can fight yerrown battles, like...)

Cheers

Nigel

On thread, personally I love both folk AND folk. It's the folk I can't be doing with. And the tradition I was brought up in began and ended with "Strings for Pleasure Play the Best of Bert Bacharach", "Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass" and "Tom Jones Live at the Talk of the Town". My dad has got a mint, unplayed copy of the Brandywine Bridge "English Meadow" album (1978) on Cottage Records, though. Buggered if I know why/where he got it. So's he, for that matter. He'd have been in his forties back then. My age now.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 03:34 PM

That was me above.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 04:47 PM

I've never had anyone in a session or singaround suggest it was inappropriate for me to sing just what I like.

Too right, Ruth. In my 30+ years of singarounds I've never once encountered any sort exclusivity at all; on the contrary, the policy is always the more the merrier, whatever nationality the singer. One memorable night we had a whole Kiwi rugby team in at The Colpitts in Durham, all of them intent on singing. Did any of our hearty English folkies raise any objection? I'll say not! Inclusive to a fault, and proudly so...


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 05:55 PM

You are undoubtedly right, Nigel. I generally enjoy Sedayne's posts and most of the time I find them intelligent and often quite enlightening. And I'm quite sure he has an excellent sense of humor (humour?). But methinks it must have slipped a bit as he lapsed into a bit of crankiness regarding the matter of a very minor and quite common grammatical error.

The initial poke, you will note if you have followed the above, was not at Sedayne, but at WalkaboutsVerse, who has made great issue of his being a wordsmith of unparalleled merit on what seems like about 7,000 threads so far (many of which he started himself). When someone grows that inflated and begins to envision himself floating to lofty heights well above we lowly hoi polloi, and he inadvertantly presents an opportunity for someone to deflate him a bit and re-introduce him to the real world, one is highly tempted to take it. When the self-proclaimed wordsmith has rendered himself a bit tiresome with his bragging and commits a grammatical error—one, which incidentally, would probably not even be noticed in the writings of someone less pompous—it is far too great a temptation not to point it out.

TheSnail, apparently and understandably, found the temptation irresistible. At which point, Sedayne, apparently given to the same minor and in most cases insignificant boo-boo, seemed to get his nose out of joint and his neck in a bow and leaped to WAV's defense. Whereupon, I posted a couple of links that explained the difference between "could of" and "could have." This was, in no way, and attack upon Sedayne, it was merely an attempt to clarify the matter by citing the formally accepted practice.

At which point, Sedayne apparently felt himself under personal attack (not the case, incidentally), whereupon he divested himself of the fine sense of humor which you laud so highly, and proceeded to verbally smite TheSnail and I hip and thigh, making great moan and lamentation, and calling us simplistically puerile, inane, nick-picking, smug, then accused us of "shameful(ly) righteous priggery," called us "priggish" a second time, and further accused us of self-righteous pomposity, puerile smuggery, and accused TheSnail of being my "sycophantic mollusk." Further, he took issue with the fact that I, an American, and apparently, due to a geographical accident of birth (since none of us has control of the matter of where we are born, this happenstance applies to him as well), a lower form of human being than a Northumbrian, had the effrontery to arrogate to myself the station of implying that he might have made a slight slip from pure grammatical rectitude.

My sycophantic mollusk and I must have hit quite a sore spot for him to have lost his legendary sense of humor (humour) to that extent. Perhaps I gained in sense of humor (humour) what Sedayne lost, because I have found this whole thing highly amusing throughout.

Well, enough of this tempest in a teapot. It's past my lunchtime out here on the west coast of the Colonies, so I'm going to go make myself a sandwich.

Don Firth

P. S. Shazam!! I am now a sandwich!
(I figured someone was going to do it, so I'd beat them to it.)


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 06:03 PM

What happened to my cookie!??

If things are similar on both sides of the pond, then I agree with Sedayne. I have rarely found any really exclusive group of singers of folk songs. I sing what I want. And if anyone objects, I would simply find another group.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer
Date: 03 Jun 08 - 06:25 PM

Great post, Don... at which I laughed out loud (in a good way).

I find the people at my local singaround to be a lovely bunch. Don't care about their image and presentation as long as they promise to continue to wear reasonably sensible trousers. On the other hand, at the risk of courting controversy, I do think the irrascible, cantankerous wing of the British folkscene as seen on Mudcat doesn't do the image any favours.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 05:27 AM

What did you HAVE in your sandwich, dear Don?/What was your sandwich made OF, dear Don?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Sedayne (Astray)
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 05:34 AM

as he lapsed into a bit of crankiness regarding the matter

Sycophantic mollusc, if you please Don, if you in insist on quoting me directly, but otherwise a fascinating précis of the proceedings thus far even if you do overlook the main meat of the discussion to concentrate on the derogatory ephemera, which, I feel, were entirely justified given the tone of your own posts (and those of your Sycophantic Mollusc). Thus do I say puerile, inane, nick-picking, smug, shameful righteous priggery and all, for such, I fear, is the real nature of all pedantry, which is not born out of a love of language per se, but a deep seated cultural insecurity that somehow needs to defame and abuse according to a rule which, as I hope I've shown, is barely relevant to the language itself.

This tone is further born out in your shameful P. S. Now, back to tormenting WAV!! statement, and in your somewhat perplexing account of your university friend, reducing him to a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal stereotype because, presumably, he had the temerity to think for himself. Oh my aching sides, Don - but this is where the humour drains away, as does the blood from my face, in open-mouthed disbelief at such a willingness to resort to tactics which are, I feel, not only underhand but positively inhumane; using your finely honed linguistic skills to snipe at fish in a fecking barrel for Christ's sake, whilst obviously deriving much gloating satisfaction from doing so.

Apart from anything else, such an approach only serves to trivialise the real issues at stake in what has fast become the Walkabout Witch-trials which have nothing to do with his poetry nor yet his language skills, rather the somewhat suspect tenets that would appear to lie behind his overall philosophy. Whatever the truth of this, nothing frightens me more than a mob, because whilst one level I'm right back in the burning windmill with Frankenstein's hapless creation (which is precisely where James Whale wanted us to be), on the other I'm singing Psalm 23 with Sergeant Howie in the analogous closing scene of The Wicker Man - which is certainly not where Robin Hardy wanted us to be, thus unwittingly creating as tidy a cinematographic equivalent of The Milgram Experiment as ever there as, I'm sure.

This thread (which is not a WAV thread, please note) has become a haven from the open riot presently going on over at English Folk Degree?, and whilst the hullabaloo seems to have abated somewhat, one stills gets the feeling of broken glass crunching underfoot as one picks ones way through the debris, expecting to find WAV's charred and mangled corpse hanging from a tree for having however so innocently trespassed into areas best left alone. Innocence, I feel, is the key here, and context of course, although it's maybe easy to mistake it for ignorance in the white heat of our righteous passion, thus forgetting about where we are, or what, for that matter, we're actually dealing with.

Overeacting? Maybe so, but that's par for the course on Mudcat, and forums in general, where, as I've said elsewhere, if we were all sitting face to face in a pub I'm sure there wouldn't be a cross word.

Sorry about the American jibe, by the way; I am too, alas, only human after all.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 05:50 AM

The WAV in a barrel, even from the perspective of a newbie, is somewhat overdue. His threads really are only about one thing whatever the title. Is the tradition really about that? A way of whitey defining himself against the hoardes? Folk was all but killed off by its own people, not by TV producers and newspaper proprietors imposing neo-liberalism on us all.
If it's to thrive then let it be as something more than a 'obbyoss for disaffected 'anglo saxons' (sic) in search of a backing track for their grievences.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 05:55 AM

I should also say WAV is only the most vocal of a tendency on here and he catches the flak because other voices only let the darkness shine out of the cracks between the sentences.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 06:02 AM

I'm still here: just had a toasted sandwich OF peanut-butter and raspberry-jam; presentation was poor (straight of the breadboard), but the taste was good.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 06:07 AM

"OfF the breadboard", sorry...and the ball comes off, not off of, the racket.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 06:23 AM

sycophant etym. doubtful, said to mean orig. an informer against persons exporting figs or plundering the sacred fig trees.

Oh, Don, I think you're wonderful.

The Sycophantic Mollusc


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Dave Bishop
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 06:41 AM

"Then there's The Beech in Chorlton, the room untouched since April 7th 1908 (I've seen the decorators receipt), a veritable time capsule that sings back at you during the choruses of Glorious Ale thus magnifying the souls of all therein."

I've lived in Chorlton since the early 70s and I can confidently assert that the front room of the Beech has been re-decorated 3 or 4 times, at least, since then! It's just pretend Edwardian.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 12:37 PM

and the ball comes off, not off of, the racket

As I said above, WAV - it does in London, and elsewhere in the English Language too. Now get your arse over to the English Folk Degree? thread and account for yourself as requested.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 03:08 PM

Per Merriam-Webster

mol•lusk
Variant:   mol•lusc
Function:   noun
Etymology:   French mollusque, from New Latin Mollusca, from Latin, neuter plural of molluscus thin-shelled (of a nut), from mollis
Date:    1783
Any of a large phylum (Mollusca) of invertebrate animals (as snails, clams, or squids) with a soft unsegmented body usually enclosed in a calcareous shell;   broadly :   shellfish

####

As to my sniping "at fish in a fecking barrel[,] for Christ's sake," when the freakin' fish leap into the fecking barrel of their own volition and shout out "Shoot me! Shoot me!" I am merely being my usual benevolent and obliging self.

By the way, with the comma, "for Christ's sake" is essentially an expletive, whereas omitting the comma gives the statement religious overtones by stating that I am sniping at fish in a fecking barrel for the sake of Jesus Christ, as if it is His wish that I engage in the wanton murder of aquatic creatures for reasons which I am afraid I cannot fathom.   It also seems to make a great deal of unwarranted assumptions regarding my belief system.

I hasten to mention that I have neither set fire to a windmill containing a poor unfortunate creature, although imposing in appearance with those big boots and electrodes in his neck, nor a large anthropomorphic wicker structure containing a pompously religious police officer who is scandalized by societal sub-group that permits young, nude women to sing and dance around a bonfire. Nor, for that matter, have I administered electric shocks to recalcitrant students, nor have I any inclination to do so (I can think of other situations—but that's another subject).

What some seem to be erroneously interpreting as "pedantry" has nothing to do with personal insecurity, but is actually a form of kindness—the attempt to do someone a favor by saving them embarrassment. Such as whispering to someone who has just returned to the room, "Psst. Your fly is unzipped." One hardly expects that such an attempt to be helpful would be met with anger and resentment.

As to WalkaboutsVerse, I would advise him to spend less time re-reading his own writings in the search for great wisdom and spend a bit of time reading other poets. I especially recommend Robert Burns, who tells us
Oh wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursel's as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
And foolish notion.
By the way, the sandwich was turkey breast, Swiss cheese, and a large slice of beefsteak tomato on nine-grain bread, garnished with mustard and mayonnaise and followed by a segmented orange and a couple of ginger cookies.

I'm having a hard time envisioning a snail rushing about like Paul Revere, shouting, "Someone's stealing your figs! Someone's stealing your figs!"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 03:40 PM

Holy simpering simians, Batman! This looks like the work of a signifying monkey.

Exactly where is the originator of this thread? Has he made an appearance since the lion and the elephant broke out cans of whup-ass on each other?

Aren't we all here because we appreciate folk music and the folk who perpetrate it - warts, dysfunction, comic trousers, dodgy grammar, not so plain English and all.   

Please be at peace.

yours in willfull obtusity


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 04:15 PM

Thank you for the definition of mollusc, Don. Some ignorant person on another thread accused me of being a crustacean. The shame of it!


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Def Shepard
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 04:26 PM

Robert Burns isn't English. I'll leave it at that.

Walkaboutsverse says,"and the ball comes off, not off of, the racket". Either are perfectly acceptable.

Please stay behind after school and write 200 times

'I shall not be so pedantic, and in future I will answer a direct question without referring to my 'verse", my 'prose'or make any references to the UN.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 05:49 PM

If Hemingway had hit it, it would have come off the racket, I reckon.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 06:46 PM

"Robert Burns isn't English."

Ah, yes! Which means, of course, something with which WAV would not deign to pollute his mind. A whiff of heather might send him into paroxisms of sneezing and wheezing. Or culture shock, at the very least.

A futile suggestion on my part. Quelle damage (if I may be permitted that expression in this context).

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 04:48 AM

That's ridiculous, Don - I have read Burns, though I prefer his songs to his poems, and have found my way on a shoestring through about 40 countries, plus majored in anthropology, etc.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 06:36 AM

I have read Burns, though I prefer his songs to his poems

In Burns things tend to blur rather, though to take the case of The Highland Widow's Lament, which many will know as the opening song of The Wicker Man, there seems to be a clear demarcation between the traditional portion of the song & that which Oor Rabbie had a hand in. Likewise his take on John Barleycorn which is just execrable*. Like Bert Lloyd, Burns collected traditional songs; like Bert Lloyd he fucked around with them; unlike Bert Lloyd, however, such songs tend to be known as songs by Robert Burns rather than folk songs per-se. I'm not complaining, though it is heartening to find Nine Inch Will Please A Lady in The Digital Tradition Mirror.

a pompously religious police officer who is scandalized by societal sub-group that permits young, nude women to sing and dance around a bonfire

I'm presently giving thought to an interpretation of The Wicker Man as being somehow metaphorical of the condition of Nazi Germany, albeit somewhat more subtle than Animal Farm's retelling of the birth of Soviet Russia. The closing scene, as I indicated above, was the first clue, being so openly an analogue to that of James Whales' Frankenstein (1931) with the difference being that whilst in Frankenstein our sympathies are with the creature, in The Wicker Man we're part of the mob, mindlessly chanting Sumer Is Icumen In as Sargent Howie screams his last. Like I say, a tidy cinematographic equivalent of The Milgram Experiment in that our humanity has effectively been subsumed in respect to a higher moral authority which has been demonstrated to be entirely corrupt. The islanders, like the people of Germany, have been fed an entirely bogus pseudo-religious construct based on the flimsiest of folkloric precedents; they have been rendered docile, manipulated by mere spectacle, and anaesthetised by enforced compliance to the extent that they willingly participate in a sacrifice which is, in actuality, simply a desperate buying of time as the foundations of the aristocratic order of Summerisle begin to crumble.

It's interesting to speculate on what purpose might be served by the clumsy segue from the opening Highland Widow's Lament, as respectfully sung in a traditional manner by Shiela Mackie with Northumbrian (!) pipes & chorus, into Paul Gionvanni's sublime though purposefully untraditional setting of Burns' Corn Riggs. There is a lurch of conciousness here between the traditional, and the faux-traditional, the world outside and the world of Summerisle, where Giovanni's increasingly surreal perversions of traditional themes are as twisted as the pagan beliefs of the islanders themselves. A totalitarian state has been contrived from supposed folklore; the customs of the people have been used against themselves; vague symbolism (i.e the may-pole) have become didactic absolutes, and even their own natural bawdiness becomes a moral prison. How else might we interpret the weeping in the erotic night scene? Or else the alarmed & terrified faces of the musicians as they sing Gently Johnny whilst poor Ash Buchanan is being abusively initiated (though I doubt he's complaining) by Willow McGregor in the room above whilst Lord Summerisle utters his chilling, yet beautiful, soliloquy (which I think is worth quoting in full here):

I think I could turn and live with animals. They are so placid and self-contained. They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins. They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God. Not one of them kneels to another or to his own kind that lived thousands of years ago. Not one of them is respectable, or unhappy, all over the earth.

Just a thought anyway; it's always been one of my favourite films (along with Frankenstein and Quatermass and the Pit), one that keeps revealing itself on so many different levels. Like The Prisoner it deals with issues of individuality and mass compliance; unlike the The Prisoner, however, it makes sure sure that the individual in question is as unlikeable as possible, however so innocent he might be. Interesting to note that his innocence is what ultimately qualifies Sargent Howie for sacrifice! Fine soundtrack too; a horror musical indeed. For those who don't know it, check this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSvJgRSiJSM, and for those that do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdWY-AMY_zY

FOLK: Image & Presentation - maybe it's all there in The Wicker Man after all!

* For a more effective literary take on John Barleycorn, see that by Orcadian poet George Mackay Brown.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 07:14 AM

They have been rendered docile, manipulated by mere spectacle, and anaesthetised by enforced compliance to the extent that they willingly participate in a sacrifice which is, in actuality, simply a desperate buying of time as the foundations of the aristocratic order of Summerisle begin to crumble.

Absolutely brilliant!

The best interpretation of the Wicker Man I've ever read. Such a refreshing change from the usual unquestioning adulation of the supposedly pagan themes by self-styled folk fauns. Authoritarian faux-paganism. That's mah new religion!

There's a full length article in here somewhere and you're definitely the man to write it...


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 08:10 AM

I meant to add: is this the first ever situationst critique of the Wicker Man?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Phil at work
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 09:01 AM

The best interpretation of the Wicker Man I've ever read

That's, um, the plot, isn't it? I mean, it's a good plot & a good discussion of it - I particularly like the angle about compulsory bawdiness - but Lord Summerisle's self-serving and spectacular repackaging of paganism is right there in the film. You'd have to be watching a different film to come away with unquestioning adulation of the supposedly pagan themes, shirley.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 09:23 AM

I keep meaning to set it down with greater substance, otherwise it just comes out in hang-over babble as the synapses attempt to reconnect with reality in the cold light of day wherein I might resent the sun for shining, perhaps, a little too brightly... There is a case for such an approach, I'm sure, and it's implicit at every turn of the film, just as there are clear implications for modern paganism therein, which is, for the most part, a similar system of ill-founded assumption & absolutism - the May-Pole is a phallic symbol, the Green Man is a pagan god of the greenwood, the Sheela-na-Gig is the Goddess of Fertility etc. Interesting to note no Greenies or Sheelas in The Wicker Man, but way back in 1973 such things were entirely absent from the pagan / wiccan cultural consciousness. It's not until Anne Ross's Grotesques & Gargoyles (1975) that Greenies make their first* appearance in this respect, though of course in academia & folkloric circles you can take that back to 1939 when Lady Raglan first came up with the term Green Man for such imagery and postulated a folkloric origin, which, at the time, also meant pagan.

Enough! We've got another sing tonight and I haven't even decided what I'm going to do yet...

* If anyone can give an earlier date for Greenies in popular folkloric or pagan / wiccan literature I'd be interested in hearing from you.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 09:30 AM

That's, um, the plot, isn't it?

Most people I know don't see it that way at all; that the film is the cornerstone of a lot of modern paganism is evidence enough of that, and there is a good deal of unquestioning adulation of the supposedly pagan themes as a nose about on line would undoubtedly reveal...


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 09:52 AM

What I was about to say. You hear so much guff about the Wicker Man. I suspect there is a largish sub-category of Wicker Man, erm, enthusiasts whose most fervent dream is to actually live on Summerisle under Lord S's not-so-benevolent dictatorship. Willow's the lure, of course. The men want to bed her, the women want to be her.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 09:56 AM

Could I also add that along with Witchfinder General, WM is undoubtedly one of my favourite films.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 10:16 AM

The third in the canon tends to be Blood on Satan's Claw (1970), which is as nauseating as it is beguiling on various levels, Linda Hayden notwithstanding of course, although the sight of Michele (Betty) Dotrice getting turned on by a rape has to be a particular low point on any scale of exploitation. The cinematography is second to none however, one of the most beautifully filmed of all the British horrors. I noticed a vinyl album of the soundtrack in a Manchester record shop recently, a new deluxe edition with some choice scenes on the cover. I note that every time they show that film there's more and more of it cut, and, I must say, rightly so.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 01:42 PM

Erm? Isn't the Green Knight (of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) the same as the Green Man? This tale is 14th century literature purportedly by the Pearl Poet. It's been yonks since I read it, but wasn't the story a sort of juxtapostioning of pagan concepts and christian tenets seasoned with a load of the chivalric code.

Yeah I know that churches and cathedrals throughout Europe have the Green man(green christ)image carved here and there. But is this not just another pirating of a pagan concept made to look christian?

Someone illuminate me?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 02:10 PM

There is no evidence that I'm aware of to legitimise the conflation of the Green Knight and the Green Man - unless you've been reading the "scholarship" of Mike Harding. Where is the evidence for the Green Man being a pagan symbol?

Sedayne: hurrah! Excellent point about the absence of Sheelaghs and Green Men in The Wicker Man. It's a goood demonstration of how the co-option of these "ancient pagan" symbols is really relatively recent. I was given the film for Christmas as a joke, and haven't been able to bring myself to watch it yet - tonight may be the night! :0)


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 02:23 PM

John Speirs (I think that's the right spelling), who was a serious medievalist, did a lot to spread this Green Knight/Green Man/'vegetation god' thing around - it's not as if Mike Harding made it all up. I remember some friends at college having a lot of fun with Speirs's, um, imaginative readings of Gawain. At one point he hold forth about how the lair of the Knight is a mystical gateway to the chthonic realms of the old earth gods (or something along those lines). The effect is slightly deflated when he quotes the description of the lair given us by the Gawain poet, which is...

"nobbut an old cave".

(And that is a quote.)


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 02:44 PM

Like I said... ages since I read the thing so maybe my memory has twisted. I just want it to be true that green man is pagan. And that the church stole it and rubbed out the pagan proof. Do I need proof? The whole premise of belief depends on no proof. Excellent. Now I can sleep easy tonight.

Wait! Didn't I see an image either carving or tessalation in the Roman Baths in Bath, that was very similar to the green man image? But was the image truly roman or was it a victorian or edwardian sympathy? I can't remember.

Re Wickerman... I only saw it once and found it a bit cheesy. Though that is my jaded take, I wouldn't mind watching it again.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 02:53 PM

"Do I need proof"

Certainly not for your belief system. But faked-up folklore is very damaging. Believe what you want, as long as you're happy to acknowledge there's no proven link outside what people would LIKE to be true...


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 02:55 PM

Interesting points about "The Wicker Man," Sedayne. A rather haunting movie indeed.

By the way, at the risk of possibly being labeled "pedantic" yet again, but thinking only in terms of "credit where credit is due," the quotation
I think I could turn and live with animals. They are so placid and self-contained. They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins. They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God. Not one of them kneels to another or to his own kind that lived thousands of years ago. Not one of them is respectable, or unhappy, all over the earth.
is from "Leaves of Grass" by American poet Walt Whitman.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Nigel Spencer
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 03:03 PM

Virginia, it is cheesy. Definitely. That's part of its strange, quixotic charm.

Do give it another go, though. With tongue reasonably firmly in cheek...


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 04:11 PM

I've read a convincing bit of work somewhere that the Green Man as seen in churches (the foliate heads) has no provable connections with paganism, this wasn't a bit of creationist propaganda either. Now I'm going to have to damned well find it, aren't I?
John Piper is another artist with Green Man tendencies. Managed to get a 1st edition of Barbara Jones book Follies and Grottoes while on holiday in the Cotswolds which is in a similar vein. neo-romantic.org.uk is a good primer in all things darkly green.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 07:25 PM

There is a thread on the Green Man I opened up last year in which the various positions are discussed : Folklore; The Green Man, this includes links to other sites of interest, mostly by, ahem, me, but don't let that put you off. Here they are anyway:

Heads With Leaves - A Gallery of Images, both Still & Moving, plus a Little Blurb by Way of an Introduction.

The Devil in the Details - PDF of an article published in Spring 2007 edition of Folk Leads.

Otherwise, many thanks for sourcing that quote, Don - gives it so much more resonance. I actually have a copy of Leaves of Grass lying around here somewhere too, must dig it out...


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 06 Jun 08 - 04:32 AM

Fascinating thread Sedayne. I've just written an article for another site on the horror of smileys, another dislocated head motif that's used to bash one another's ideas with.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Two of a Hind
Date: 06 Jun 08 - 05:11 AM

I have scrolled through this thread with the hope of finding some sensible suggestions about Image and Presentation. As a club organiser its always useful to hear other peoples thoughts on how folk music / clubs are percieved by other folkies and civilians. We get new people comming through the club on a fairly regular basis and we have our regular 25/35 supporters. My interest in Image and Presentation was to somehow target more throughput with its enevitable product of people liking what there hear and coming agian and again, If any body has any sensible sugestions on how to improve image and presentation and where and how this can best serve what we do, music. Please list it.
Newport Folk Club


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 06 Jun 08 - 05:14 AM

By the way, at the risk of possibly being labeled "pedantic" yet again, but thinking only in terms of "credit where credit is due," the quotation (...) is from "Leaves of Grass" by American poet Walt Whitman.

It's an odd thing but given the state of limbo we've been living in here in Lytham St Annes for the past 8 months whilst trying to sell our house in Durham (i.e. everything but the essentials in storage, everything else in open boxes, unwilling unpack too much in our rented flat in the servants quarters of a huge old mock-Tudor mansion by the sea because we know, sooner or later, we'll be on the move again...) that I found my old copy of Leaves of Grass straightaway - a Bantam Classic paperback reprint of the 1892 Deathbed Edition (it says) gifted to me by an old (American) girlfriend back in 1992. But get this, turning instinctively to Song of Myself I land after a mere five minutes browsing on the appropriate piece. For those who don't have a copy of the book to hand, it's on-line too at Song of Myself - worth reading in its entirety I'd say, but the Wicker Man quote comes from the opening of Part 32.

This reminds me of the time back in 1978/79 when I was working with special needs adults, and one old chap heaved a sigh about the moral & spiritual decline of popular culture in general & music in particular, singling out for special attention the nonsensical lyrics of Boney M's By the Rives of Babylon. This chap was never without his Bible, and was absolutely made up when I drew his attention to Psalm 137, after which, of course it became his favourite song of all time. Give a thing a source and let the meaning shine through! So, thanks again Don for contextualising something that has always haunted me, and given me cause to open a book, unopened, for whatever reason, since 1992!


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 06 Jun 08 - 05:51 AM

If any body has any sensible suggestions on how to improve image and presentation and where and how this can best serve what we do, music. Please list it.

Only one: keep it real. 25/35 sounds like you've a healthy club going, especially if you are getting new people in too. The attraction is in the authenticity of the thing itself & the experiential quality thereof, which has nothing whatsoever to do with such anathemaic concepts as Image & Presentation. Image & Presentation have all but strangled the life out of culture as a whole, but once they begin to infect folk at a grass roots level then I'll be finding something else to do with my Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings, with occasional Sundays too (please note: this is why we never get to Staining!).

A bunch of surly blokes & beautiful women in a pub lounge south of Manchester untouched since 1908 (give or take 80 years), swilling halves, pints (okay Nigel, red wine) singing exquisite traditional ballads, roaring hearty choruses, munching biscuits, bellowing away at bagpipes, and having the time of their lives is surely Image & Presentation enough. Elsewhere, we experience the phenomena of pulling in more for singers nights than we do for guests despite the paltry £3 cover charge. There are exceptions of course (hi, Wendy & Paul!) and last nights extended floor spot from our very own Nicky Snell (nice one Nicky, you did us proud!) proved a thriving occasion too. So, cherish what you've got, each & every one of them, for a bird in the hand is always worth a whole flock in the bush.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 06 Jun 08 - 07:26 AM

another dislocated head motif that's used to bash one another's ideas with.

There are but few examples of the full-bodied Green Man, my favourite being that to be found on a misericord in Southwell Minster - see Here for a rather splendid jpeg. Odd how in my researches I find myself giving these things names, such as the foliate Davros and Osama Bin Laden found in the cloisters of Chester Cathedral (see Here & scroll down to the Chester images - they're both pretty obvious!). The Southwell figure I think of as The Storyteller, being a storyteller myself, because this is exactly what it feels like when a story is really kicking off, growing forth from some inner linguistic seed, deep in the mysterious & occult dark of primal consciousness wherein the innate structural parameters of grammar, syntax & the Indo-European Folk-tale dwell! The foliage spews forth in rampant vigour, emblematic of the Nature / Nurture dialectic, thus do I adopt the Green Man as my personal hero.

Folk: Image & Presentation? Phooey! Give me a Green Man carved on an ancient bum-worn misericord any day; an image as modern (rather than post-modern) & relevant to the human condition as the day it was carved.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Jun 08 - 07:38 AM

Image and presentation are still less imprtant than content.

200


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 06 Jun 08 - 08:06 AM

The Southwell chapter house green men are most familiar and well worth looking out for those at this weekend's FF. A favourite carved head (not a GM) is in Lincoln cathedral. It is a hominid-animal form that's is an absolute dead ringer for Goofy. Considering a nearby stall is for the parish of Norton D'Isney, ancestral home of Walt Disney I like to think of the dog as an animus who finally found a voice.
There also some interesting medieval pathologies (and older of course) depicted in Lincoln, toothache, migraine and so on plus unflattering characatures of the gaffer class.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 06 Jun 08 - 08:11 AM

an absolute dead ringer for Goofy

Might be passing Lincoln soon; whereabouts is he?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 06 Jun 08 - 08:17 AM

Good question. He took me ages to find him last time I looked, he's tucked away and no-one seems to know he's there. IIRC he's on the main screen on the right of the arch as you enter the choir but takes some finding. It's been a long while so the location may have drifted in my brain but he's around there.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 06 Jun 08 - 08:18 AM

Image and presentation are still less important than content.

More than that, Richard, I'd say Image & Presentation are implicit in the very nature of Folk, just that, unlike Reggae, Death Metal, Punk and Hip-Hop (etc.) Folk would appear to be uncomfortable in its own skin - see above post, 03 Jun 08 - 06:35 AM.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 06 Jun 08 - 08:33 AM

takes some finding

Rest assured, I will persist, no doubt whilst listening to the Amazing Blondel on my mp3 player. Otherwise, there's a similar thing on the famous exterior corbels of Kilpeck, a very cartoonish hare & hound that invariably wins the hearts of all who see it. See Here. This is just around the corner from the famous Sheela-na-Gig - for more on which see the very excellent Sheela-na-Gig Project.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 06 Jun 08 - 08:51 AM

So cartoonish they look modern! There was an interesting TV prog in about 1990ish +/- a year or two called In Search of the Green Man, which took in Joseph Beuys' land art, John Piper, the work of Common Ground and tours around Scottish green man locations. It's still on video in the loft somewhere, the reason I keep telling the missus, no, they can't go in the skip!


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 08 Jun 08 - 03:03 PM

The whole green man controversy reminds me of Lada and Lel. Who, you ask? Supposedly, two ancient Slavic fertility gods, whose worship was preserved in circle dances (khorovods, like the Balkan Hora). Village women would dance singing refrains like lada, lel.
19th century folklorists with paganism on the brain were straining to find pre-Christian origins for everything, even to the extent of inventing old gods.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: trevek
Date: 08 Jun 08 - 03:22 PM

In 1920's/30's Poland ther was a move to tidy up the presentation of traditional singing to suit more genteel tastes of the more western-tuned elements of society. The village women (and presumably men) were given courses on how to bow and perform. In some cass the keys and styles of singing were modified to be easier on the ear.

Most of that is now considered "the tradition" and it is very hard (if not impossible) to find (original) people who sang/sing in the earlier styles.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: trevek
Date: 08 Jun 08 - 03:30 PM

"Youth culture doesn't look backwards for its inspiration but believes it is living with the very latest that music can offer; and apart from a short period in the sixties, when music seemed to be driven by genuine musicians, young people buy into the crap sold to them buy businessmen."

I really disagree with this statement; even in the 1980's kids were looking at 1940's Swing, 1950's Rockabilly and 1960's Ska/ Soul and that wasn't something that was served up to them, it was something they were doing for themselves and which the media later caught onto.

What about the rise of groups like The Pogues and The Men They Couldn't Hang, The Levellers (a bit later)?

Even today, I know a number of young people who are listening to 1980's music and letting it shape their own music.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: trevek
Date: 08 Jun 08 - 03:37 PM

VirginiaTam, th carving at Bath is said to be Medusa, which is funny, because it is male and the divine Miss M wasn't!


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 03:48 AM

"Youth culture doesn't look backwards for its inspiration but believes it is living with the very latest that music can offer;"
Then why am I constantly hearing all these re-hashes of songs I was listening to thirty odd years ago?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 04:06 AM

Good, Jim - as I've said here, traditions exist due to folks being impressed by how their forebears did/presented things.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 04:35 AM

So do you accept that new traditions can be formed?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Alan Surtees
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 04:55 AM

Hi Jim

I only said "beleives it is living with the very latest". The men in suits will trawl up and rehash anything they can get a profit out of.

Alan


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Sedayne (In Norfolk)
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 05:11 AM

Here I am checking into Mudcat for the first time since we eet off for Norfolk on Saturday morning & you guys still haven't sorted anything out; and WAV is still repeating himself like one of those skeleton spacemen in the recent Dr. Who (Hey! Who turned out the lights?) - but what else do we expect? Actually I find it kind of comforting in a way...

Glueman - went via Southwell & rejoiced; 30 years I've been wanting to se those, shame the Chapter House also featured an exhibition of antique wedding gowns.

Anyhoo, the sun is shining & the byways of Vagabondia are beckoning...

(PS - When I get back on Mudcat proper, I might not be Sedayne anymore...)


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 05:15 AM

Every generation will add their two pennor'th to a tradition. In my youth it was re-assessing the do-wop songs of 10+ years earlier. George Lucas's American Graffiti is an example of film digging up a recently deceased popular culture, with surf music portrayed as the end of real rock and roll, as earlier directors made the steam locomotive's bell sound the death knell of the old west.

I may flinch at hearing 'the nineties' talked about as a genuine historical period but it is, and the problem is mine. So far as new traditions go they will form, like it or not. Each generation will assign meaning and value where they may.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 05:51 AM

Richard Bridge 'Image and presentation are still less important than content'

Try telling that to the millions of Garth Brooks fans.
I borrowed some CD's from the library to see if I could understand the attraction. Only 1 track was worth listening to IMO.
His biggest attraction appears to be when he 'flies' around the audience on wires & smashes guitars onstage.
Thats why he is the highest earning 'singer'.

If a 'folkie' could get that sort of exposure then the genre could make headway with the general public but at what expense?

It seems there are two extremes here & it depends on personal preference which way to go.
Youth of today receive the media message that money is success, so will tend to the GB way rather than content.
I see/hear many with great technical skill but little 'feeling' for the music. Whether they will develop this feeling depends on which 'extreme' they favour. (IMO)


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 06:14 AM

Re: Mudcat's Image and Presentation - my recent threads ("English Folk Awards" and "BS Green/Godly Gardening") are being closed due to what OTHERS post on it...not fair!..and these ARE important matters for discussion.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: glueman
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 06:30 AM

Missed those WAV. Were they about the lack of perceived Englishness of the content by any chance?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 06:30 AM

Perhaps if you would be more open to discussion, rather than just making pronouncements and quoting from your website, they wouldn't get closed.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 06:44 AM

Avoiding inflammatory (and unrelated) subjects might also be a good idea.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 07:14 AM

"Green/Godly Gardening" in the BS section, and an "English Folk Degree?" are not "inflamatory" or "unrelated" threads, Phil. And, if I feel, Volgadon, that I can better answer my ctitics in, already written, verse, why not?


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 07:33 AM

Your gardening thread might be considered inflammatory because of comparisons you keep drawing between it and immigration, that is, people.

Why don't you try reasoning, debating, explaining, rather than quoting YOURSELF? One way leads to a good conversation, the other shows that the person isn't open to conversation. I'll leave it to you to decide which is which.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 07:38 AM

No, I'm talking about inflammatory subjects unrelated to the topic of the thread. You know perfectly well what subjects I'm talking about, David, and you know who it was that introduced them to the EFD thread.

If you want to discuss your political views, there are plenty of forums out there (some of them *way* out there) where you can do it. Don't bring them here.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 07:58 AM

I spent a good 10-15 minutes presenting thoughtful answers this morning to the overnight posts on that thread, Volgadon...perhaps someone emailed Max in complaint, as I just did, but, for what it's worth, if this happens again, I'll soon be walking about other forums.

By all means, please do so. Every thread you start, no matter posted the topic, is still the same as detailed above and on those threads by others. Put simply, you are a troll. Please feel free to walk on out.


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 03:15 PM

And a troll whose primary interest, it seems to me, is little more than self-promotion.

By the way, trying to prove a point by quoting yourself as the primary authoritative source will get you laughed out of any freshman course in Logic. And if you persist, most certainly flunked out.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: FOLK: Image & Presentation
From: Def Shepard
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 03:42 PM

WAV, upon entering to ruin yest another thread, said "and these ARE important matters for discussion."

As long as everyone agrees with you, and says just how marvellous you'r 'writings' are, you're a very happy soldier. When, however, people dare to criticise you, all of a sudden those same people are using under-handed and inflammatory tactics. Then there's:

It's everyone else's fault, but not yours when , and I quote,"my recent threads ("English Folk Awards" and "BS Green/Godly Gardening") are being closed due to what OTHERS post on it...not fair!.."

What complete and utter rubbish WAV.


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